Rep. Barbara Lee continues to champion AUMF repeal

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to consider Rep. Barbara Lee’s resolution to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq on Tuesday during a markup of several bills. Protect Democracy has advocated for cleaning up outdated military authorities and starting the process of returning war powers to Congress; we applaud this building momentum for war powers reform.

Rep. Lee has been out in front of such repeal for years. In 2019, the House passed a bipartisan 2002 AUMF repeal with 12 Republican votes. Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress support repeal today: Senators Todd Young and Tim Kaine introduced legislation earlier this month to repeal the 2002 AUMF as well as the 1991 AUMF for the Gulf War, and a group led by Rep. Mike Gallagher proposed repeal of the 2002, 1991, and 1957 AUMFs—the latter related to fighting communism in the Middle East—last week.

Adding to this progress was testimony before the Committee on Tuesday from Jack Goldsmith, a legal architect of the Global War On Terror. Goldsmith advocated for repeal of the 2002 AUMF, saying:

The 2002 AUMF is an undisciplined, overbroad, and unnecessary authorization for the use of force. It should be repealed. Such a repeal would not impact the president’s counterterrorism authorities in the area, since every use of force in which the 2002 AUMF was invoked could have been justified independently by some combination of the 2001 AUMF (or the proposed successor) and Article II.