March 25, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds Historic Markup of Her Legislation to End Forever Wars

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today applauded House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and the rest of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for passing her legislation, H.R. 256, to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq resolution of 2002. The bill, which has passed the House twice in previous sessions of Congress, passed out of committee by a final bipartisan vote of 28-19 and will now head to the House floor for consideration.

“It’s far past time that we bring our forever wars that have cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars to an end,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “For nearly two decades, both the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs have been used by three consecutive Presidents to wage war in ways well beyond the scope that Congress initially intended. The 2002 AUMF authorizing military force against Iraq no longer serves any operational purpose as operations carried out under the 2002 AUMF officially ended in 2011.     

“Today’s markup of my legislation to repeal the 2002 AUMF is a critical step toward reasserting Congress’ constitutional authority to decide when and if our country goes to war. My legislation has passed the House twice before; with unprecedented support in both chambers, with support from the Biden Administration, I’m confident this will be the Congress that the 2002 AUMF is finally repealed. I thank Chairman Gregory Meeks for holding today’s historic markup and supporting our effort to end our forever wars.”  

“It is Congress’ constitutional authority to make decisions on matters of war and peace,” said Chairman Meeks. “For too long, Congress has abdicated that responsibility, instead allowing administrations to use outdated AUMFs to justify new military action far beyond the intended scope of those authorizations. The 2002 AUMF currently serves no purpose, and it is time Congress finally repeal the 2002 AUMF so it may never be misused by future administrations. I thank Representative Lee for her leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with her and all my colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee as we work on further reforms to existing AUMFs and the War Powers Resolution.”

The 2002 AUMF authorizing force against Iraq contains no sunset provision, which leaves it on the books indefinitely and creates a danger that Presidents will use it to justify military action that Congress never intended to authorize. Rep. Lee’s legislation would repeal the 2002 AUMF in its entirety.

Additional information on the 2001 and 2002 AUMF legislation is available here: