Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the U.S. Senate voting on legislation to repeal the Iraq AUMFs of 1991 and 2002. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Almost twenty years to the day that U.S. military operations began in Iraq, the United States Senate begins the process of repealing the Iraq AUMFs—the ones of 2002 and 1991—putting the final remnants of those conflicts squarely behind us.
The United States, the nation of Iraq, and the entire world have changed dramatically since 2002, and it’s time the laws on the books catch up with these changes. The Iraq War has itself long been over. This AUMF has outlived its purpose and we can no longer justify keeping it in effect.
While the Iraq War was the cause of so much bitterness in the past, I am glad that repealing these AUMFs has been a genuinely bipartisan effort. I expect we will have a number of amendment votes on the floor once this resolution is before us, and I want to thank Senators Kaine and Young, Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Risch, and all the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the cosponsors of this legislation.
Again, this is a bipartisan process. Both parties in this chamber have voiced support for repeal. President Biden has voiced support for repealing this AUMF. And in June of 2021, our House colleagues voted 268-161 to repeal, with 49 Republicans in support.
I hope this year—on the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War—both chambers will finally speak in one voice and send an AUMF repeal to the President’s desk.
Americans are tired of endless wars in the Middle East. Many Americans have come of age without even remembering the early years of the Iraq War. Every year we leave these AUMFs on the books is another year that a future Administration can abuse them, and Congress—the rightful dispenser of war powers—cannot allow this to continue.
I want to make this clear: repealing this AUMF will not in any way hinder our national defense, nor will it hurt the efforts of our troops deployed overseas. In fact, the repeal is an important step for strengthening our relationship with Iraq.
So once again, thank you to all of my colleagues for their good work on this resolution, and I urge everyone on both sides to vote yes on cloture on the motion to proceed in a few hours.