The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Majority Leader

The U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Schumer:

We are a diverse coalition of organizations from across the ideological spectrum, including those who focus variously on government accountability, military families, faith-based initiatives, and human rights. We write to urge you to send a measure repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (2002 Iraq AUMF) to President Biden’s desk before the year’s end. Despite its exclusion from the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, multiple legislative pathways still exist to secure this long overdue repeal. Rescinding the 2002 Iraq AUMF would mark a much needed exercise of Congress’s duty to determine when and whether the United States goes to war, while ratifying its strong bipartisan will on the issue.

Congress passed the 2002 Iraq AUMF more than 20 years ago to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. After the deaths of approximately 120,000 Iraqi civilians and 4,500 US service members, and more than $800 billion spent, this war was formally declared over in 2011. The Biden administration has confirmed that the 2002 Iraq AUMF is not needed for any ongoing military activities and endorsed the authorization’s repeal.

The prospect of repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF is decidedly bipartisan. Rep. Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) H.R. 256 to repeal the authorization passed the House in 2021 with a wide bipartisan majority of 268-161, including 49 Republican votes. S.J.Res. 10, led by Sens. Tim Kaine (VA) and Todd Young (IN), currently has 40 Democratic and 11 Republican cosponsors and passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2021 on a bipartisan 14-8 vote. The Senate should take up either of these standalone measures before the end of the year, sending H.R. 256 directly to the president or voting on S.J.Res. 10 and sending it to the House for swift final passage.

Repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF could also be achieved via the omnibus spending package. The defense spending bill reported out by the House Appropriations Committee includes a measure to repeal the authorization – Section 8149 of H.R. 8236. This provision should be retained in the final appropriations agreement.

Repealing this outdated and unnecessary law would constitute a basic act of constitutional hygiene while also ensuring that the 2002 Iraq AUMF cannot be misused to breathe new life into an unforeseen national security crisis, driven by an unchecked president. Members of Congress who were not yet old enough to vote in 2002 may awaken to news of the president using an authority in which they had no say to justify entirely unrelated U.S. military operations. This scenario has already played out once, in early 2020; there is nothing to prevent it playing out again, until Congress takes the 2002 Iraq AUMF off the books.

In repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF – whether by standalone vehicle or through the omnibus spending package – Congress would finally reclaim its constitutional war powers in a manner both deeply significant and increasingly uncontroversial. We urge you to seize this opportunity to get it off the books for good.


Action Corps

American Civil Liberties Union

American Friends Service Committee

Center for Constitutional Rights

Center on Conscience and War

Center for Victims of Torture


Council for a Livable World

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Defending Rights & Dissent

Demand Progress Action

Foreign Policy for America

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Government Information Watch

Hindus for Human Rights

Human Rights First

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Missionary Oblates

MPower Change Action Fund

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund

National Council of Churches

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Pax Christi USA

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

R Street Institute


Saferworld (USA)

Secure Families Initiative

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries

The United Methodist Church — General Board of Church and Society

Win Without War

Yemeni Alliance Committee

Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation

Zomia Center


The Honorable Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

The Honorable Patrick Leahy

The Honorable Richard Shelby

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro

The Honorable Kay Granger

The Honorable Jon Tester

The Honorable Betty McCollum

The Honorable Ken Calvert

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