Several members of Congress have reintroduced legislation to repeal two old Authorizations for Use of Military Force.
Senators Tim Kaine and Todd Young and Representatives Barbara Lee, Chip Roy, Abigail Spanberger, and Tom Cole say it’s time to repeal the AUMFs that were issued in 1991 and 2002, which would formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars.
According to a release, these authorizations allowed for the use of military force for those two conflicts, which is part of Congress’ Constitutional role.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers says that Congress’ failure to repeal these AUMFs means they can potentially be misused.
Additionally, the reintroduced legislation would work to enhance the relationship between the United States and Iraq, a country that is technically still an enemy of the U.S. under existing law.
“Congress is responsible for both declaring wars and ending them because decisions as important as whether or not to send our troops into harm’s way warrant careful deliberation and consensus,” said Kaine. “The 1991 and 2002 AUMFs are no longer necessary, serve no operational purpose, and run the risk of potential misuse. Congress owes it to our servicemembers, veterans, and families to pass our bill repealing these outdated AUMFs and formally ending the Gulf and Iraq wars.”
“Voting on decisions of war and peace is a fundamental and constitutional responsibility for Members of Congress. We must be accountable to the American people and cannot abdicate this responsibility to open-ended AUMFs that give too much power to a President and don’t require Congress to take consequential votes,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to be a part of this serious, bipartisan effort — and I’d like to thank my fellow Virginian Senator Kaine for leading the charge to do what is right for the people we serve and the men and women who keep us safe.”
Kaine and Young first introduced this bill in 2019. They have been calling on Congress to repeal or update these and other AUMFs.
In the Senate, the bill is co-sponsored by Bob Menendez, Chuck Grassley, Dick Durbin, Mike Lee, Chris Coons, Rand Paul, Tammy Duckworth, Steve Daines, Mazie K. Hirono, Roger Marshall, Angus King, Lisa Murkowski, Chris Murphy, Jerry Moran, Ben Ray Luján, Susan Collins, Chris Van Hollen, Mike Braun, Cory Booker, and Cynthia Lummis.
The House version of the bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Jim McGovern, Andy Ogles, Gregory Meeks, and Harriet Hageman.