Jun 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer announces support for repealing 2002 U.S. war authorization in Iraq

Image of Chuck Schumer.

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday he supports repealing the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq.

Why it matters: Schumer's announcement marks the first time he has expressed support for repealing the 2002 authorization, which former President Trump partially cited as authority for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani last year. Schumer said he would commit to bringing the bill to the Senate floor this year.

The big picture: The House is set to vote Thursday on a bill repealing the authorization, which was passed before former President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  • The House voted to repeal the 2002 authorization last year, but the measure was not taken up in the Senate and the Trump administration opposed the move, according to CNN.
  • The White House's Office of Management and Budget issued a statement Monday supporting the repeal, potentially boosting the prospects of passage in the Senate, per CNN.

What he's saying: Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor that repealing the authorization "will eliminate the danger of a future administration reaching back into the legal dustbin to use it as a justification for military adventurism."

  • "At the beginning of last year, we saw that danger become frightfully real when President Trump ordered an airstrike against an Iranian target in Iraq without transparency, without proper notification to Congress, and without a clear strategy," he continued.

Between the lines: The 2001 AUMF, which gave the U.S. government the authority to use military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, is viewed as a far more sweeping authorization.

  • Critics say it has given the U.S. a blank check to deploy the military in countries around the world, but there is no sign that Congress will move to repeal the law.
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