October 24, 2019
From Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today announced their call on Senate leadership to repeal the outdated 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The 2002 AUMF was originally drafted to authorize military operations against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, but it has since been used to expand U.S. military presence in the region.
In a letter to SASC Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), Gillibrand and Duckworth noted that if left unchallenged, the 2002 AUMF could erode Congress’s ability to check the President’s military power. Repealing the authorization would reflect its original intent — it was never intended to be an unlimited authorization for the use of military force, which could justify military operations without end, against new adversaries, and in additional countries. This would also be an important first step to determining whether additional Congressional authorizations are necessary to protect our nation’s security interests.
“Despite clear congressional intent and the plain language of the 2002 AUMF, successive administrations have sought to weaken the Legislative Branch’s Article I power to declare war by claiming that the 2002 AUMF provides authority for counter ISIS operations initiated long after the death of Saddam Hussein, and more recently, as an authorization to address threats to, or stemming from, Iraq,” the Senators wrote. “Expansive interpretations of the 2002 AUMF not only fail to accurately reflect the reality that Congress authorized a war in Iraq that formally concluded in 2011, but if left unchallenged, weaken the Legislative Branch’s ability to check an increasingly aggressive Executive Branch.”