U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III called for a repeal on Tuesday night of the authorization for use of military force that has been in place since September of 2001 and has been used to justify military actions across the Middle East.

Kennedy's comments came after news broke that Iran launched about a dozen surface-to-air missiles against at least two U.S. military bases in Iraq a few days after U.S. forces targeted and killed one of Iran's top military commanders, Gen. Qassam Soleimani.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who is locked in a primary challenge to unseat U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, told WGBH News that the legal authorization, which passed Congress nearly unanimously just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks "has been used to allow for military engagement throughout the Middle East, by presidents now of both parties.”

Read more: Massachusetts Officials React To Iran Missile Attack

The language of the congressional authorization gives the president the authority to use force against those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks and has been widely interpreted since then to allow for military actions in more than a dozen countries.

Kennedy listed the steps Congress can take to repeal that authorization, which was used to justify the United States' 2002 invasion into Iraq, and emphasized that doing so should not be a partisan action.

“We can pass appropriations bills to ensure that no U.S. taxpayer funds are used to support a mission to target, to support war against Iran or to continue military operations for a proxy war against Iran,” he said. “We can do all of those things. We would need support from some of our Senate colleagues to do so as well, but this, I don't believe — when it comes to this stuff, this is not partisan.”

Kennedy said that there was no question that Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike last week, was “an enemy of our country.”

“The question is: [Do] the actions precipitated and taken by this administration make our troops, our men and women in uniform, our allies, our assets, our interests, safer and more secure in this region? Or does it, in fact, make it more dangerous and more destabilizing?” he said. “And there's nothing that we've seen, obviously in the past couple of days, that have led me to believe that the world is, in fact, a safer place today than it was on Friday.”

“Congress has to act ... and the president has to explain the nature of his actions to the American public,” Kennedy said. “Both things have to happen. And certainly if the president won't, and his administration won't, then Congress has to act more aggressively to ensure that we circumscribe his actions.”

Kennedy said that moving forward, he and his fellow members of Congress will be looking for the Trump administration’s explanation for how they will respond to the missile strikes and what their methodology will be behind future relations with Iran.

“What did our administration expect [Iran’s] response to be? And are they prepared to protect our allies' interests, our men and women in uniform, and assets around the world? And how are the actions that they're taking going to ensure that we do not get sucked into a much wider-scale regional war?” he said. “The administration owes us, meaning the American public, an explanation and a plan going forward to ensure that this does not happen.”

President Donald Trump said late Tuesday night that he will address the nation on Wednesday morning.