Veterans group supports effort to repeal outdated AUMFs, reclaim congressional war powers
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Deputy Director Russ Duerstine issued the following statement regarding the House of Representatives’ pending floor votes on H.R. 3283 & H.R. 3261. The bills, sponsored by Reps. Meijer (Mich.) and Spanberger (Va.), would repeal the 1957 and 1991 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF):
“The 1957 and 1991 AUMFs are outdated relics that have no bearing on current foreign policy challenges and should have been repealed long ago. Leaving them on the books only creates more opportunities and justifications for the Executive Branch to conduct military action abroad without consent from the people’s representatives in Congress. We applaud Reps. Meijer and Spanberger for introducing legislation to repeal outdated authorizations and for their continued efforts working to ensure Congress reclaims its war powers. On behalf of our men and women in uniform, military families, and all Americans, we urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass these commonsense and uncontroversial bills.”
The 1957 and 1991 AUMFs are obsolete force authorizations no longer impacting any current U.S. military operations. The 1991 AUMF was the authority for the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, for which only 5% of current members of Congress have voted. The 1957 AUMF is an artifact of the Cold War designed to combat international communism in the Middle East.
CVA recently 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 as well. The group was joined on the letter by Defense Priorities Initiative, FreedomWorks, and the R Street institute.
In 2019, the group partnered with VoteVets, a traditional rival, to urge lawmakers to reclaim their constitutional war powers duties. The New York Times wrote about the unlikely partnership. Setting the example for lawmakers and the administration, the groups found common ground on this issue and flew activists and volunteers into DC to meet with their members of Congress to bring some real, lasting policy change in Washington.
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.