Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on advancing legislation to repeal the Iraq AUMFs of 1991 and 2002. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Later today, I will take the first procedural steps to take up legislation repealing the Iraq AUMFs of 1991 and 2002.
After a lot of hard work from Senators Kaine and Young—as well as Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch—this is the week the Senate will begin the process to end the legal authority that started the Iraq War two decades ago.
Every year we keep these AUMFs on the books. And every year we keep them on the books, it’s another chance for future Administrations to abuse or misuse them. War powers belong in the hands of Congress, and that means we have a responsibility to prevent future presidents from exploiting these AUMFs to bumble us into a new Middle East conflict.
Americans are tired of endless wars in the Middle East, and we owe it to them and to our veterans and their families to repeal the Iraq War AUMF. So, thank you to the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their work, especially Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch. And thank you again to Senators Kaine and Young for their work spearheading this legislation.
The Iraq War has formally been over for more than ten years. The reality on the ground has long since changed, so the laws on the books must change too. Repealing this AUMF will in no way hinder our national defense, and it represents a positive step forward in our relationship with the Iraqi government.
I’m pleased this effort has been thoroughly bipartisan. President Biden has voiced his support for the measure. The House passed a similar bill a few years ago, with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. Here in the Senate, the bill was reported out of committee with a 13-8 vote, so I thank my colleagues on both sides for allowing this bill to proceed.