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Senate Votes To Repeal Iraq War Power Authorizations

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Senate Votes To Repeal Iraq War Power Authorizations

The U.S. Capitol is shown June 5, 2003 in Washington, DC. Both houses of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives meet in the Capitol. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
The U.S. Capitol is shown June 5, 2003 in Washington, DC. Both houses of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives meet in the Capitol. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)

OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 2:43 PM – Wednesday, March 29, 2023

In order to regain its control over military engagement abroad, the Senate voted on Wednesday to rescind authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq.

The authorization for the use of military force, or AUMFS, granted the United States president extensive authority to execute military operations without Congressional permission.

The vote was held following the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The White House declared its support for the legislation repealing the Iraqi military use authorizations from 1991 and 2002. If it is approved by both chambers, the conflicts would be formally over, and Congress’ authority to declare war would be symbolically reasserted.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been a strong supporter of the repeal, saying “there’s no justification anymore” for allowing these authorizations to stay on the books.

“Every year they remain in place … is another year a future administration can abuse them to ensnare us in another conflict in the Middle East,” he argued, in remarks on the Senate floor last week as the chamber was debating the bill. “The American people don’t want that, they’re tired of endless wars in the Middle East.”

However, a lot of Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), are against revoking the war authorizations for use of force in Iraq, stating that they are not open to presidential abuse, and would rather provide the White House freedom to respond to threats around the world during a risky time.

“I am opposed to Congress sunsetting any military force authorizations in the Middle East. Our terrorist enemies aren’t sunsetting their war against us,” McConnell said in a statement ahead of the vote. “And when we deploy our service members in harm’s way, we need to supply them with all the support and legal authorities that we can.”

The White House stated that removing the law “would support this Administration’s commitment to a strong and comprehensive relationship with our Iraqi partners” and “would have no impact on current US military operations.”

The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.

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