February 09, 2023

Durbin, Duckworth Join Colleagues to Introduce Bill to Repeal 1991 & 2002 AUMFs, Formally Ending Gulf and Iraq Wars


[WASHINGTON, D.C.]—Today, combat Veteran U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) and U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) to reintroduce bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs), formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars, and reassert Congress’ Constitutional role in deciding whether and when to send our service members into harm’s way.  This bill would also enhance the relationship 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 overdue to have a thorough and honest reckoning about responsibly exercising Congressional war powers, which includes repealing outdated authorities like the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs.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 I’m proud to join this bipartisan legislation that would repeal these outdated war authorities and I hope we can work in a bipartisan way to address war powers.”

“The Constitution is clear – only the U.S. Congress has the power to declare war.  But for too long, Congress has refused to take this charge seriously,” said Durbin.  “Presidents of both parties have taken advantage of outdated AUMFs to justify military action without congressional approval while Congress has sat idly by, happy to avoid hard votes.  We must break this habit.  That begins by finally repealing the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs to end the Gulf and Iraq wars once and for all.”

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 failed to repeal these AUMFs to prevent potential misuse by future presidents. 

In addition to Duckworth, Durbin, Kaine, and Young, the Senate bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Angus King (I-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mike Braun (R-IN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). 

Full text of the bill is available here.