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Press Release

Rep. Castor Statement on House Vote to Repeal 2002 AUMF

This week, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor joined 267 of her colleagues in voting to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002:

“Nineteen years after the Congress voted to authorize the use of military force and go to war in Iraq - based upon false pretenses - I am heartened to see broad, bipartisan support to repeal the authorizing resolution. The brave American men and women in uniform who served there did all that was asked of them. To honor their service, it is time that Congress also honors its responsibility to the U.S. Constitution which vests the duty to declare war in the Congress and not countenance a “blank check” for military operations.

“A formal end to U.S. military operations and the U.S.-Iraqi status-of-forces agreement both expired in 2011. Nonetheless, the 2002 AUMF Against Iraq continued to be used. A separate AUMF currently authorizes counterterrorism operations, and Article II of the Constitution of the United States the President has the right to undertake operations to defend America and its citizens.

“The Constitution explicitly leaves the power to declare war to Congress, but expansive interpretations of outdated authorizations have caused the legislative branch to functionally forfeit this constitutionally derived responsibility. By repealing the 2002 AUMF, Congress will take a step towards reclaiming its proper constitutional authority over the use of military force. Today’s vote is a first step in ensuring that the AUMF will not be used by any president to justify new and unrelated offensive military actions. By finally repealing this two-decade old AUMF, this legislative body can once more execute its solemn constitutional responsibility, focus on supporting our service men and women and end the blank check for war.”