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Rep. Peter DeFazio Statement on Voting to Repeal Outdated AUMF Against Iraq, Restore Congress’s Constitutional War Powers Authority

Jun 17, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio today released the following statement on his vote in favor of H.R. 256, which repeals the outdated Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002:

“I am proud to once again vote in favor of repealing the long-outdated 2002 AUMF, which has been abused for years by presidents of both parties to justify unauthorized and endless wars and conflicts around the world. Ten years after the official end of the Iraq War and almost two decades since the war started, the 2002 AUMF still remains on the books, leaving the door open for any president to use this AUMF to start a new war or expand a current one.

The original 2002 AUMF – which I voted against – authorized President George W. Bush’s reckless Iraq War, which was based on phony intelligence and was among the worst foreign policy mistakes in U.S. history. I have long advocated for repeal of the 2002 AUMF – including my introduction of legislation to repeal the 2002 AUMF in February 2003, before the Iraq War ever started.

I have long called on presidents of both parties to respect Congress’s constitutional power to declare war and consult with Congress before committing U.S. forces to any military conflict, as laid out in Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Congress, our men and women in uniform, and the American people deserve to know the full scope of any potential conflict—including an exit strategy—before the U.S. even considers putting our troops in harm’s way, and I’m proud to vote in support of legislation that will repeal this outdated AUMF.”

A recognized watchdog of Congress’s power to declare war, Rep. DeFazio has repeatedly introduced legislation to take back Congress’s war powers throughout his tenure in Congress.