This week, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) and formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars. The legislation passed the Senate 66 to 30.
Today’s vote to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs comes after the 20th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom and marks the first time in over five decades that Congress has voted to repeal an AUMF. Prior to the final Senate vote, Young and Kaine spoke on the Senate floor. Senator Young’s remarks are available here.
“This is an important moment for the Senate and our nation,” said Senator Young. “Passage of this bill with strong bipartisan support takes us a step closer to restoring the proper role of Congress in authorizing military force and affirmatively stating when conflicts are over. A broad and diverse coalition in the House supports this legislation, and I am hopeful the bill will receive prompt consideration. I want to thank Senator Kaine for his tireless work and partnership for years on this bill. I also want to thank my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of this issue for the constructive conversation as we debated this legislation. Finally, I want to thank the men and women who served in the Gulf and Iraq wars. We are forever grateful for your service.”
“I’ve long believed that Congress should reassert our constitutional role in decisions as solemn as whether and when to send our nation’s servicemembers into harm’s way, which is why I’ve pushed to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force against Iraq since I became a senator in 2013,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m glad that after years of work, the Senate voted to pass my bipartisan bill repealing these outdated and unnecessary AUMFs. Passing this bill is an important step to prevent any president from abusing these AUMFs, reaffirm our partnership with the Iraqi government, and pay tribute to the servicemembers who served in Iraq and their families. I’m grateful for Senator Young, Majority Leader Schumer, SFRC Chair Menendez, and others who helped get this bill across the finish line. I welcomed Speaker McCarthy’s public comments in support of these repeals earlier this week, which demonstrates the broad coalition backing this effort. I urge the House to pass our bill and get it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”
Young and Kaine 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. In February 2023, Young and Kaine reintroduced their bill, along with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and Tom Cole (R-OK-04). Their bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) on March 8, 2023. The House voted to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs in June 2021.