1. Press Release
  2. Peacebuilding, U.S. Wars & Militarism

Bipartisan Coalition Calls for an End to Iraq War Authorization

By Timothy McHugh, October 16, 2020


Washington, DC – Today, on the 18th anniversary of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Force Against Iraq (AUMF) becoming law, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) sent a letter to Congress, signed by a broad, bipartisan coalition of advocacy groups, calling for the law’s repeal. The groups urged the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to preserve in the final version of the annual defense spending bill (the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2021) a House provision to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

“The Iraq AUMF was passed to authorize war against the Saddam Hussein regime, but the executive branch keeps stretching their interpretation of its scope,” said FCNL’s Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights Heather Brandon-Smith. “After 18 years, Congress should repeal this authorization to ensure it can’t be repurposed by this or any future president to take us into more unauthorized wars.”

As the letter states: “The [Iraq War] authorization has served its purpose and is not required for any ongoing operations. The Executive Branch relies on a different legislative authority, the 2001 AUMF, to justify operations against al Qaeda, ISIS, and other groups. Repealing the outdated and unnecessary 2002 Iraq AUMF would reassert Congress’ constitutional duty to determine when the United States goes to war.”

The letter’s signatories echo the growing bipartisan support in Congress for repealing the Iraq War AUMF. This year the House twice voted, on a bipartisan basis, to repeal the authorization, first as part of the No War Against Iran Act (H.R. 550) and then in the defense spending bill (H.R. 7617). The Senate bill to repeal the Iraq War, introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) (S.J. Res. 13), has an equal number of cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.

The letter was signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, BringOurTroopsHome.US, Concerned Veterans for America, Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy, Defense Priorities Initiative, FreedomWorks, Human Rights First, Project On Government Oversight, R Street, VoteVets, and Win Without War.

To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.

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Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.