This week, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded committee passage of their bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs), formally ending the Gulf and Iraq wars. The 1991 and 2002 AUMFs—which passed 32 and 20 years ago, respectively—authorized the use of force for the Gulf and Iraq wars, but Congress has failed to repeal these AUMFs, leaving them subject to potential misuse by the Executive Branch. The bill would reassert Congress’ constitutional role in deciding whether and when to send our servicemembers into harm’s way and enhance the relationship the United States now has with a sovereign, democratic Iraq.
“I am encouraged by today’s vote, and it is now time to bring this legislation to the Senate floor. Later this month, we will mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Today, Iraq is a partner of the United States and critical to efforts to counter Iran. Repealing these outdated AUMFs will demonstrate America’s commitment to Iraqi sovereignty. Just as important, it is vital to restoring the proper role of Congress in authorizing the use of military force and affirmatively stating when conflicts are over,” said Senator Young.
“Although the 1991 Gulf and 2002 Iraq wars are over and Iraq is no longer an enemy, the Authorizations for Use of Military Force remain on the books,” said Senator Kaine. “Congress has a constitutional and moral responsibility to repeal them so that future presidents can’t use these authorizations as a blank check to send servicemembers into harm’s way. I’m glad we’re one step closer today to repealing these outdated and unnecessary AUMFs. I welcomed Majority Leader Schumer’s commitment to bring our bill to the Senate floor in coming weeks, and I urge my colleagues to pass our bipartisan bill so we can formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars.”
Kaine and Young discussed their bipartisan legislation on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper in February.
Kaine and Young have been leading voices in Congress on the need to repeal outdated AUMFs to prevent potential misuse and have raised concerns over the use of military force without congressional authorization. Their bill has garnered strong bipartisan support since they first introduced it in 2019. The House voted to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs in June 2021.
In addition to Senators Young and Kaine, Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Angus King (I-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mike Braun (R-Ind), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) also cosponsored the bill.
Full text of the bill is available here.