Biden Backs Repealing 2002 Iraq AUMF
The House is expected to vote on repealing the 2002 law this week
Dave DeCamp / AntiWar.com
(June 14, 2021) — The Biden administration supports an effort in Congress to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that was used for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“The administration supports the repeal of the 2002 AUMF, as the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.
The House is expected to vote on a bill this week that would repeal the 2002 AUMF. There was a renewed push in Congress to rein in the president’s war powers after Biden bombed Syria back in February. But as the White House statement said, the 2002 AUMF is not currently being used for military operations, so repealing would essentially be symbolic.
The AUMF that has been the most abused is the 2001 measure that was used for the war in Afghanistan and kicked off the War on Terror. Today, it is being used to fight groups that didn’t even exist in 2001, like ISIS.
With that being said, the 2002 Iraq AUMF has been abused in recent years. The Trump administration cited it when justifying the January 2020 assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad.
Biden Backs Effort in Congress to Repeal ‘Forever War’ Authority in Iraq
WASHINGTON (June 14, 2021) — US President Joe Biden’s administration said on Monday it supported an effort in the US Congress to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that allowed the war in Iraq, boosting lawmakers’ push to pull back the authority to declare war from the White House.
“The administration supports the repeal of the 2002 AUMF, as the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations,” the administration said in a policy statement.
The US Constitution gives the power to declare war to Congress. However, that authority has gradually shifted to the president as Congress passed AUMFs that did not expire – such as the 2002 Iraq measure, as well as one that allowed the fight against al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A handful of members of Congress have been pushing for years to repeal, and possibly replace, the authorizations.
The administration statement said Biden is committed to working with Congress to ensure that outdated authorizations are repealed and replaced with “a narrow and specific framework” to ensure the country can continue to protect itself.
The House of Representatives is due to vote this week on the legislation to repeal the 19-year-old Iraq war authorization, which was introduced by Democratic Representative Barbara Lee. There was no immediate word on when the Senate might consider it.
Lee has long sought to hold presidential military powers in check. She was the only member of Congress to oppose the AUMF passed days after the Sept. 11 attacks, saying it provided too much of a “blank check” to allow the president to pursue military action.
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