The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted, Thursday, to scrap a law that greenlighted the Iraq War.
In a 268-161 vote, lawmakers repealed the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) — a resolution that granted President George W. Bush permission to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The measure passed with bipartisan support, reflecting the growing unpopularity among American voters with the so-called forever wars. Forty-nine Republicans and 219 Democrats voted in favor of the repeal.
The U.S. has no continuing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 authorization… President Barack Obama pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011, although a contingent returned later to aid the Iraqi government’s fight against Islamic State.
President Biden expressed his support for repealing the AUMF in a Monday statement:
The President is committed to working with the Congress to ensure that outdated authorizations for the use of military force are replaced with a narrow and specific framework appropriate to ensure that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist threats. In working with the Congress on repealing and replacing other existing authorizations of military force, the Administration seeks to ensure that the Congress has a clear and thorough understanding of the effect of any such action and of the threats facing U.S. forces, personnel, and interests around the world.
“The constitution requires that we cannot appropriate funds for armies for more than two years, and yet for almost two decades we have failed to revisit these AUMFs,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. “To this day, our endless war continues, costing trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in a war that goes way beyond any scope that Congress conceived or intended.”
“After nearly 20 years of fighting for this, we’re finally one step closer to ending forever wars,” she remarked on Twitter.
🚨BREAKING: My bill to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF passed the House.
After nearly 20 years of fighting for this, we’re finally one step closer to ending forever wars.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 17, 2021
Some lawmakers — such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — were not so enthusiastic.
“What message would this send to the terrorists, who are on the ropes, who haven’t attacked in the United States, not because they don’t want to but because we haven’t let them, because we have fought them on their territory before they have the ability to organize and attack us here?” he commented.
The Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations will vote on the 2002 and 1991 AUMFs on June 22. Though Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) supports the legislation, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) believes that repealing the law is “more complicated, more dangerous, and less politically convenient than its supporters believe.”
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