Government and Politics
March 29, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) and formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars. Today’s vote to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs comes after the 20th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom and marks the first time in over five decades that the Senate has voted to repeal an AUMF. Prior to the final Senate vote, Kaine and Young spoke on the Senate floor. Their speeches are available here.
“I’ve long believed that Congress should reassert our constitutional role in decisions as solemn as whether and when to send our nation’s servicemembers into harm’s way, which is why I’ve pushed to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force against Iraq since I became a senator in 2013,” said Kaine. “I’m glad that after years of work, the Senate voted to pass my bipartisan bill repealing these outdated and unnecessary AUMFs. Passing this bill is an important step to prevent any president from abusing these AUMFs, reaffirm our partnership with the Iraqi government, and pay tribute to the servicemembers who served in Iraq and their families. I’m grateful for Senator Young, Majority Leader Schumer, SFRC Chair Menendez, and others who helped get this bill across the finish line. I welcomed Speaker McCarthy’s public comments in support of these repeals last week, which demonstrates the broad coalition backing this effort. I urge the House to pass our bill and get it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”
“This is an important moment for the Senate and our nation,” said Young. “Passage of this bill with strong bipartisan support takes us a step closer to restoring the proper role of Congress in authorizing military force and affirmatively stating when conflicts are over. A broad and diverse coalition in the House supports this legislation, and I am hopeful the bill will receive prompt consideration. I want to thank Senator Kaine for his tireless work and partnership for years on this bill. I also want to thank my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of this issue for the constructive conversation as we debated this legislation. Finally, I want to thank the men and women who served in the Gulf and Iraq wars. We are forever grateful for your service.”
Kaine and Young have been leading voices in Congress on the need to repeal outdated AUMFs to prevent potential misuse and have raised concerns over the use of military force without congressional authorization. Their bill has garnered strong bipartisan support since they first introduced it in 2019. In February 2023, Kaine and Young reintroduced their bill, along with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and Tom Cole (R-OK-04). Their bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) on March 8, 2023. The House voted to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs in June 2021.