House votes to repeal AUMF in Iraq: Long overdue
The House voted 268-101 this week to repeal the 2002 Iraq War Authorization for Use of Military Force, which had authorized U.S. military action against the Iraqi regime led by Saddam Hussein – remember him?
The repeal of the AUMF 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.
Similar legislation is making its way through the Senate, with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Indiana Republican Todd Young and four other GOP senators leading the way there.
Both measures have broad bipartisan support.
“Congressional authorizations to use force must not be blank checks to the executive branch, no matter which party controls it,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09). “Any use of force in the present would be far removed from the circumstances cited to justify the 2002 AUMF against the regime of Saddam Hussein, who was executed in 2006. Fewer than 15 percent of the members of Congress in office today were even here to vote on that AUMF. Although more needs to be done, the vote to repeal the 2002 AUMF is a step toward reclaiming Congress’ proper constitutional role in exercising war powers.”
“On Oct. 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,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07).
“Since coming to Congress, I have been very clear — Congress must reassert congressional authority in decisions of war and peace,” Spanberger said. “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,” Spanberger said.
Story by Chris Graham