Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leaders McConnell and McCarthy:
We write to urge you to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF) as soon as possible.
Bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress as well as the administration have made clear their support for repealing this outdated AUMF. In June, after the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy supporting Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) bill to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF (H.R. 256), the House passed it by an overwhelming vote of 268-161, including 49 Republicans. Soon after, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced bipartisan legislation from Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) to repeal the law by a vote of 14-8. Their bill, S.J.Res. 10, currently has 46 cosponsors, including 10 Republicans, with several others having indicated their support for the measure. With several legislative vehicles to which the repeal measure has been or could be attached currently in conference, we urge you to seize this moment and finalize a repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF.
The 2002 Iraq AUMF was originally passed to authorize the U.S. war against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was removed from power in 2003, the war against his regime was declared over in 2011, and the administration has affirmed that it is not relying on the 2002 Iraq AUMF for any ongoing operations. However, leaving this authorization on the books has left it susceptible to abuse. The most egregious example of such abuse was when former President Trump relied on it to justify his lethal strike against Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, recklessly risking a new war with Iran that Congress never approved.
Much work has been done to rescind this dangerous, outdated, and overstretched authorization, both by activists across the country and by bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress. We have an opportunity to secure an important, historic win that helps gets Congress back in the business of upholding its constitutional mandate to decide when and where our nation goes to war. But the work is not yet complete. We strongly urge you to send a measure repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF to the president’s desk at the earliest opportunity.
Alliance of Baptists
American Civil Liberties Union
American Friends Service Committee
Brennan Center for Justice
Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Coalition for Peace Action
Council for a Livable World
Democratic Socialists of America International Committee
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Human Rights First
Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Project on Government Oversight
R Street Institute
United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries
Secure Families Initiative
Win Without War
Cc: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Chair Patrick Leahy, Vice Chair Richard Shelby, Chair Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member Kay Granger, Chair Jack Reed, Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, Chair Adam Smith, Ranking Member Mike Rogers, Chair Bob Menendez, Ranking Member Jim Risch, Chair Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member Michael McCaul