June 17, 2021
WASHINGTON — Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), chair emeritus of the CPC and longtime champion of AUMF repeal, issued the following statements in response to the House of Representatives’ vote to repeal the 2002 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) by a 268-161 margin today:
“Today’s repeal of the 2002 AUMF is essential and long overdue,” said Jayapal. “This AUMF was based on a lie. Over nine years, that lie resulted in hundreds of thousands of lives lost, including civilians, U.S. service members, journalists, and humanitarian workers. Progressives have long fought to rein in an out-of-control Pentagon to ensure that precious resources are not wasted on regime change, forever wars, and military occupations. Today’s overwhelming vote represents a critical reassertion of Congress’ responsibilities over war and peace under Article I of the Constitution, and a commitment to prevent a disaster like the Iraq War from ever happening again.
“The Senate should quickly pass this measure and send it to the President’s desk, and Congress must build on this vote to end all ongoing military actions carried out under outdated or nonexistent legal authorities.”
In 2019, the Progressive Caucus stood with Rep. Lee’s effort to pass a repeal of the 2002 AUMF in the annual defense authorization, with convincing bipartisan support. And in 2020, the Caucus challenged President Trump’s outrageous use of the 2002 AUMF to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, and helped force a House vote to end illegal hostilities against Iran.
“It’s time to turn the corner on two decades of endless war,” said Rep. Lee. “The outdated 2002 Iraq AUMF has no relationship with the threats we face today. I’ve fought to get it off the books to prevent its abuse by future presidents. Today’s vote marks an important step in our fight to stop endless wars, but we must also work to repeal the 2001 AUMF. I thank Chairwoman Jayapal for her leadership to help end our forever wars and for her support on this legislation.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.