March 06, 2019

Kaine & Young Introduce Bill To Repeal 1991 & 2002 AUMFs, Formalizing End Of Gulf & Iraq Wars

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. The legislation will formally end the authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars – 28 and 17 years, respectively, after these AUMFs were first passed, reasserting Congress’ vital role in not only declaring wars, but in ending them. The repeal of these authorizations also recognizes the strong partnership the United States now has with a sovereign, democratic Iraq.

“It’s past time to repeal both AUMFs and formally mark the end of the Iraq War that resulted in a devastating loss of life and wounded tens of thousands of our troops. It makes no sense that two AUMFs remain in place against a country that is now a close ally. They serve no operational purpose, run the risk of future abuse by the President, and help keep our nation at permanent war,” Kaine said.

“There is no obligation more sobering than considering an authorization for the use of military force, and it is critical that Congress exercise robust oversight once authorities have been granted. As a young high school student, I enlisted in the Navy mere weeks before the Gulf War began. Now, 28 years later, those war authorities are still active and still in law. This illustrates the level of Congressional failure to perform its Constitutionally mandated oversight role” said Young. “Today, Senator Tim Kaine and I have introduced bipartisan legislation that repeals these outdated authorities, sending a strong message that Congress is finally taking back its Article One responsibility. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee to advance this legislation and have this important debate.”

This bill is an effort to prevent the future misuse of the expired Gulf and Iraq War authorizations and strengthen Congressional oversight over war powers. For years, Kaine has been the leading voice in Congress raising concerns over the use of military force without congressional authorization. He has introduced updated authorizations for the use of military force and pushed for the repeal of outdated AUMFs to reassert Congress’ role in authorizing military action and take away the blank check that multiple Presidents have used to fight wars across the globe.

Repealing these authorities will not impact the United States’ ability to finish the war on ISIS. As a Marine, Senator Young has advocated for a new AUMF targeting ISIS since coming to the Senate in January 2017. Senator Young introduced legislation to authorize the use of force against ISIS and published an op-ed explaining why he believed it necessary.

You can read the bill text here.

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