March 03, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Join Kaine and Young in Reintroducing Bill to Repeal 1991 & 2002 AUMFs


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator and combat Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) today in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. The bill would formally end the authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars – 30 and 19 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 partnership the United States now has with a sovereign, democratic Iraq.

“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,” Duckworth said. “As a nation, we are long over-due to have a thorough and honest reckoning about responsibly exercising Congressional war powers, which includes repealing outdated authorities like the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs. For decades, administrations of both parties have kept these authorizations on the books to justify military action in the region without returning to Congress to make their best legal case for the need for such action. I’m proud to join this bipartisan resolution that would repeal these outdated war authorities and I hope we can work in a bipartisan way to address war powers.”

"Article I Section 8 of our Constitution is clear only the United States Congress has the power to declare war.  For too long, Congress has abdicated this most serious of responsibilities," Durbin said.  "I am pleased to join this bipartisan effort to terminate two Authorizations for the Use of Military Force against Iraq that have long outlived their original legislative intent.  As one of only 23 Senators to vote against the 2002 Iraq War authorization, it is long overdue that we turn the page on this war." 

Since she was elected to the Senate, Duckworth has urged her colleagues to replace our outdated AUMFs, which set the legal framework, parameters and constitutional basis for our ongoing military engagements. 

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. It is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rand Paul (R-KY).

You can read the bill text here.