Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) welcomed today’s introduction of legislation to repeal both the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations of Use of Military Force (AUMFs). Both AUMFs give the president the authority to use force against Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq. Hussein has not been in power since 2003.
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“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War. It also marks 20 years of presidents using the 2002 AUMF to instigate military action without congressional approval or any say from the American people,” said FCNL Associate General Secretary for Policy and Advocacy Amelia Kegan. “These wars, and the laws that precipitated them, have not provided peace and stability to Iraq or the broader Middle East. We must be building peace, not war.”
Senators Tim Kaine (VA) and Todd Young (IN) are the lead sponsors in the Senate with Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Chip Roy (TX-21) in the House. A similar bill passed in the House in the 117th Congress and had matching wide bipartisan support in the Senate. Unfortunately, it never reached a full Senate vote. President Joe Biden has said that he would sign the AUMF repeal bill.
“For far too long the United States has started wars with little to no thought about how to end them. And with wars raging in so many parts of the world, we can take one small step toward peace by finally - officially and legally - ending the 1991 Gulf and 2002 Iraq wars,” said Kegan.
Although no current military operations rely on the 2002 Iraq AUMF, it has been subject to abuse for years. As recently as 2020, the Trump administration used it as legal justification for the drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine others—nearly plunging us into another war in the Middle East.
The risk of that level of escalation is a wakeup call to Congress, and part of the reason repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF is a rare opportunity for bipartisanship in a narrowly divided Congress.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.