WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives in voting to repeal the 2002 Iraq War Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
The 2002 AUMF authorized U.S. military action against the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein. Its repeal would not impact current U.S. military operations in the Middle East — but it would help prevent U.S. Armed Forces from entering into another military conflict in the region without approval from Members of Congress and without the feedback and support of the American people.
During remarks on the floor of the U.S. House ahead of the vote, Spanberger said the 2002 AUMF is “long overdue for repeal” — and she called for her colleagues in Congress to reassert the constitutional role of Congress in making decisions of war and peace.
Click here to watch her full remarks, and a transcript of her remarks is below.
On October 16, 2002, the United States Congress voted to authorize military action against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
The text of the authorization was clear — that was its purpose. And years later, Saddam Hussein is long dead, and our military action has ended.
The 2002 AUMF is separate and distinct from the 2001 AUMF, which authorized our counterterrorism efforts after 9/11 and which remains in use today.
The 2002 AUMF is not in use. It is long overdue for repeal, which is why we have voted multiple times to repeal the 2002 AUMF with bipartisan support.
Since coming to Congress, I have been very clear — Congress must reassert congressional authority in decisions of war and peace. The authority is required by our Constitution — and it is fundamental to our representation of our constituents, especially our servicemembers.
Our men and women in uniform deserve to see a new era of congressional accountability, one where Members of Congress do not shirk their accountability when it comes to issues of war and peace.
Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has sought to strongly reassert the constitutional role of Congress in authorizing the use of U.S. military force. Earlier this year, she co-led the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would help Congress reclaim its constitutional war powers by ending the 1957, 1991, and 2002 AUMFs — formally ending the congressional authorization for the Gulf and Iraq wars, as well as the Cold War-era authorization of force in the Middle East.
Last month, Spanberger also led the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would repeal the 1991 AUMF against Iraq, which was Congress’ authorization for the First Gulf War of 1991 in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait — more than 30 years ago. The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed this legislation last month.
In July 2019, the U.S. House voted to pass a joint resolution Spanberger led to block the sale of certain offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia in hostilities that were not authorized by Congress. And in April 2019, she joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House in passing a resolution that would remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen.
In July 2019, Spanberger cosponsored and helped pass a bipartisan amendment to prohibit the unauthorized use of military force against Iran. Spanberger also voted in favor of a bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2002 AUMF, and in January 2020, she voted in support of a House War Powers Resolution related to Iran and called for Congress to address outdated AUMFs.
Click here to read a January 2020 op-ed Spanberger co-authored in the Washington Post alongside Republicans, Democrats, and an Independent calling for Congress to reclaim its war-making authorities.