Washington, D.C. — Today, the Senate voted to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs), formally ending the Gulf and Iraq wars. In response, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Congressional action to repeal these outdated measures is welcome and long overdue. They have significantly outlived their intended authorization purpose and scope. The bipartisan vote signals agreement on both sides of the aisle that the use of force should be more tightly and regularly bound to public consensus via congressional debate and votes.
In particular, we owe a debt of gratitude to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) for her decades of courageous leadership in advocating against giving presidents blank checks to start wars. Today’s vote is a testament to her persistence and moral clarity. Now, the next step is for Congress to repeal and replace the 2001 counterterrorism AUMF with an authorization with clear sunset and renewal provisions, in tandem with a reaffirmation of the centrality of diplomacy in U.S. foreign relations.
As Congress reclaims its authority, it must not forget the circumstances and needs of those who experienced the wars firsthand—the more than 1 million U.S. service members who served in Iraq and many millions of Iraqis who were caught in the crossfire and remain exposed to violence and poverty.
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