September 17, 2019

Duckworth Calls for a New Authorization for the Use of Military Force as Congress Approaches 18 years Since First Considering 2001 AUMF


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — With tomorrow marking 18 years since Congress approved the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized our military actions in response to the attacks on 9/11, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is once again calling for Congress to debate a new AUMF. With tensions rising around the world, especially as the situation with Iran continues to escalate, it’s clear that a new AUMF is desperately needed to provide our troops with clarity on their mission as they seek to defeat our enemies.

One of Congress’s most solemn constitutional responsibilities is deciding when and how we choose to send America’s sons and daughters into danger overseas,” said Duckworth. “It’s been 18 years – there are now full-grown adults serving in America’s longest war who were not alive when Congress last debated the AUMF that Donald Trump is now using to keep them there. As a nation, we are long over-due to have a thorough and honest debate about replacing the outdated 2001 AUMF. U.S. troops downrange need to know they have the moral support and legal backing of their country. Congress hasn’t given them that and—especially with Donald Trump thumping his chest about attacking Iran if Saudi Arabia directs him toit’s past time we do so.

Since she was elected to the Senate, Duckworth has urged her colleagues to replace our outdated AUMFs, which set the legal framework, parameters and constitutional basis for our ongoing military engagements. In July, during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee, Duckworth asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper whether or not existing AUMFs give Donald Trump the authority to go to war with Iran, and under her questioning, Esper agreed that they do not. In 2017, she penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for a new AUMF.