Grassroots veterans group applauds bipartisan support to repeal decades-old Iraq War authorization, and Congress reasserting its role in matters of war and peace
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America’s (CVA) Executive Director Russ Duerstine issued the following statement in support of a pair of bills introduced today by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), which would repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF):
“Speaker McCarthy and Senator Schumer have an incredible opportunity to make history and correct course on U.S. foreign policy by turning the page on decades of unnecessary war and repealing these outdated AUMFs.
For years, these authorizations have been used to justify military actions far removed from their original intents, and American troops and taxpayers have shouldered the burden in thousands of lives lost and trillions of dollars out the window.
CVA applauds Sens. Kaine and Young, and Reps. Lee and Roy who continue to put principle above party politics. It’s past time for the rest of Congress to join them and fulfill its constitutional duty in matters of where, when, and why we send American troops to sacrifice in defense of our country. Passing these bills would be a historic step in the right direction for America’s foreign policy.”
The obsolete 1991 and 2002 AUMFs were originally intended to target the government of Saddam Hussein and are long disconnected from our current strategic challenges. Repealing the Authorizations will remove their ability to be abused to take the United States to war without Congressional approval. Passing these bills would be the first time in more than 50 years that Congress has rescinded a force authorization, since it repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1971 to help end the Vietnam War. Such a historic step would begin to restore Congress’ role in matters of war and peace, and force more congressional debate over when, if, and, most importantly, why we send American troops into harm’s way.
CVA has been working to repeal outdated AUMFs for years, making it a priority for its grassroots and advocacy efforts in its annual policy agendas.
In March 2022, CVA led a coalition in sending a letter to members of Congress urging support of a bipartisan resolution introduced by Sens. Kaine and Young to repeal the 1991 & 2002 AUMFs, which these bills replicate. The group was joined on the letter by Defense Priorities Initiative, FreedomWorks, and the R Street Institute.
CVA has been staunch in its support of lawmakers who have taken a principled stand and worked to repeal these measures in the past. In 2019, CVA welcomed the addition of the bipartisan War Powers Caucus to Congress, applauding lawmakers for prioritizing the issue. CVA also launched a digital ad campaign thanking lawmakers for standing against endless war, praising lawmakers for voting to ensure proper Congressional input before any offensive military force against Iran.