This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.
The 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF) authorized war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. Repealing this law is a first step toward Congress reasserting its constitutional authority to decide if and when the United States goes to war. There is strong bipartisan support for this effort. A Senate bill—S. 316—from Sens. Tim Kaine (VA) and Todd Young (IN) passed with a bipartisan vote of 66-30. A House companion—H.R. 932—from Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Chip Roy (TX-21), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Tom Cole (OK-04) has more than three dozen cosponsors, with equal numbers from both sides of the aisle.
Push for a vote on H.R. 932 to repeal the 2002 Iraq War Authorization
Article II of the Constitution gives the president the authority to use military force without congressional approval to defend the United States against a sudden or imminent attack. But under Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the sole authority to authorize a prolonged war.
As a Quaker organization, FCNL opposes all war. As a matter of public policy, we believe Congress must debate and vote before the president commits our military to lethal action and should regularly evaluate and vote on whether to continue ongoing U.S. wars.
Please urge Speaker McCarthy to bring a bill to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF to the House floor.
The 2002 Iraq AUMF should be repealed because:
- It’s Congress’s job to decide when the United States goes to war. Leaving an obsolete war authorization on the books in case the president may want to use it for a future operation is an abdication of Congress’s Article I constitutional duty.
- It is not needed for existing operations. The executive branch relies on a different authority, the 2001 AUMF, as the legal basis for all current military operations. The Biden administration supports repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF.
- It is no longer relevant. The Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in 2003 and a formal end to the U.S. mission in Iraq was declared at the end of 2011.
- It is open to abuse. In January 2020, the 2002 Iraq AUMF was misused to justify the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Congress should prevent any further abuse of this outdated law.
Contact: Heather Brandon-Smith, Congressional Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights, HBrandon-Smith@fcnl.org