June 17, 2021

Rep. Mike Levin Statement on Vote to Repeal 2002 AUMF

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) issued the following statement on his vote for H.R. 256, Repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, which passed the House today. The bill will terminate the nearly 20-year-old congressional authorization for using military force in Iraq, first enacted in 2002.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the service and sacrifice of those who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom – many of whom deployed courageously from Camp Pendleton – and we have much more work ahead to support those veterans and their families. We also have a responsibility to uphold our Constitution, which gives Congress the sole power to declare war. Nearly 10 years after Operation Iraqi Freedom ended, we must protect that Constitutional duty by repealing the obsolete 2002 AUMF. This is also an important step to prevent additional abuses of the AUMF’s authority, which has been used on several occasions to conduct military operations unrelated to the original purpose of the AUMF.

“We must be clear: repealing this AUMF does not prevent the United States from continuing to defend our national security and diplomatic interests in the region, but it does signal the need for additional AUMF reforms that prevent ‘forever wars’ and unnecessary conflicts. With this vote, we can begin that process and protect our Constitution."