Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday that Congress should reconsider counterterrorism policies enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, specifically pertaining to drones.
The senator, who is ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made his comments during a committee hearing on counterterrorism policies. Corker said that lawmakers should consider updating the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, suggesting that certain elements had become outdated or unrelated to current circumstances.
"This effort should involve putting in place specific policy guidance for how and when the president can use these authorities, including lethal action and the use of drones, in regular consultation with Congress, so we can restore the appropriate balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government while maintaining flexibility for the president to respond swiftly under threat of attack," Corker said in remarks to the committee.
The law, enacted by President George W. Bush, gave the president authority to attack "nations, organizations or persons" that played a role in planning the attacks in an effort to prevent any future acts of terrorism against the U.S.
President Barack Obama's administration carried out more than six times as many drone strikes in Pakistan during his first term than the Bush administration did throughout the duration of both of its terms, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Corker said that changes should be made to better protect the nation while "upholding" national morals and values regarding the authority to attack those in terrorist groups.
The comments on drones were not the first made by the senator in recent months. In February, Corker told Yahoo Politics he thought that elements of Obama's drone policy may not be legal and suggested officials consider the impact of such a program on nations that may acquire drone technology in the future.