On Thursday the House voted to repeal the 2002 authorization that led to the war with Iraq. The House voted 268-161 to repeal the authorization saying the 20-year law is no longer necessary. When Republicans were in control of the House it also voted to appeal the authorization act but ultimately it went nowhere, this vote signals the repeal is going momentum to make to the President Biden’s desk.
The Hill reports:
The war authorization was initially passed by Congress to allow the U.S military to go after former President Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, though it has occasionally been used to bolster the legal rationale for other military engagements in recent years.
“Repeal can prevent our country from entering another protected protracted engagement under this outdated authority,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the sponsor of the repeal bill, said Thursday. “We can’t afford to leave this in place indefinitely. For two decades, it has been in place. This is our opportunity to restore our constitutional role.”
The Biden administration has also come out in support of repealing the 2002 AUMF, with the White House saying in a statement this week it backs Lee’s bill because “the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations.”
Still, Republicans argued that taking the 2002 AUMF off the books would hamstring U.S. counterterrorism missions, saying it should not be repealed until a replacement for the 2001 AUMF is agreed to.
The Trump administration also cited the 2002 authorization in part for its legal justification in the drone strike that killed Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani.