March 15, 2023

As 20th Anniversary of Iraq War Approaches, Duckworth Urges Senate to Prove It Still Stands Behinds Our Troops by Holding Public Vote on Decades-Old War Authorizations


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who is also a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations (SFRC) Committee, joined U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to call on her colleagues to help pass bipartisan legislation, led by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN), 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 allowed these AUMFs to last much longer than they were intended, 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. This legislation passed through committee last week. Video of the Senator’s remarks can be found here.

“Our brave servicemembers who sacrifice so much to defend our country deserve to know that they have the moral support and legal backing of this nation—yet, for more than 20 years, Washington has failed to give them even that,” Duckworth said. “If we choose to send our finest into battle, then we need to debate and vote to do so based on current conditions. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war, I’m proud to join Senators Schumer, Kaine and Menendez to call on my colleagues to join us in finally repealing the decades-old 1991 and 2002 AUMFs when this bipartisan legislation comes to the floor so we can start honoring our troops in the way they deserve.”

Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She is a Purple Heart recipient and one of the first handful of Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For years, Duckworth has spoken out about repealing the AUMFs and has joined bipartisan efforts to get this done.

A full copy of the bill text is available here.