Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Iraq War Authorizations

Jackson Richman
By Jackson Richman
March 29, 2023Congress

The Senate passed a bill, 66–30, on March 29 that would repeal the 1991 and 2002 Iraq war authorizations.

The first allowed the United States to enter the Gulf War, during which then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces were driven out of Kuwait. The second allowed the U.S. military to go into Iraq following reports that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

United States forces captured him in 2003 and he was executed in Iraq in 2006.

The final vote, which only needed a simple majority, comes after the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected amendments offered by GOP senators. The amendments needed 60 votes for adoption.

Senate Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have said that the 1991 and 2002 authorizations need to be repealed so that future administrations don’t abuse them, as it is Congress that has the authority to declare war in accordance with Article I of the Constitution.

However, Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), expressed opposition to the bill, citing the ongoing threat from Iran.

President Joe Biden supports repealing the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs), according to a statement from the White House.

The administration noted that “the United States conducts no ongoing military activities that rely primarily on the 2002 AUMF, and no ongoing military activities that rely on the 1991 AUMF, as a domestic legal basis.

“Repeal of these authorizations would have no impact on current U.S. military operations and would support this administration’s commitment to a strong and comprehensive relationship with our Iraqi partners.

“That partnership, which includes cooperation with the Iraqi Security Forces, continues at the invitation of the government of Iraq in an advise, assist, and enable role.”

The bill now goes to the GOP-controlled House.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on March 21 he has no objection to the bill.

“I’m into it,” he said at a press conference. “I don’t have a problem repealing that.”

McCarthy did not say if and when he would bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

The speaker remarked that he wants the 2001 authorization, which allows the United States to go after those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, to not be repealed.

“I was not here to vote on either of the creation of those, but you’re 20 years into this now,” said McCarthy, who has been in Congress since 2007.

“I still want to take actions if there are terrorists anywhere around the world. If we’re keeping that one AUMF and removing another one, that’s personally where I am.”

From The Epoch Times

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