The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Cavan Kharrazian,

Response to Biden's statement on AUMF repeal and reform

Today, ahead of a vote to advance S. 31616, a bill that would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (2002 AUMF) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991 (1991 AUMF), President Biden issued a statement supporting the repeal of these AUMFs. The president stated that he “remains committed to working with the Congress to ensure that outdated authorizations for the use of military force are replaced with a narrow and specific framework more appropriate to protecting Americans from modern terrorist threats.”

In response to President Biden’s statement, Cavan Kharrazian, Policy Advisor at Demand Progress Education Fund, offers the following remarks:

“We are glad President Biden is supportive of getting these outdated AUMFs off the books, and that he is committed to work with Congress on presumably replacing the 2001 AUMF with a narrower framework

“However, any serious attempt by President Biden to work with Congress on war powers reforms requires the administration to halt unauthorized participation of U.S. armed forces in hostilities that contravene the War Powers Act. This includes ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen, ceasing the use of U.S. forces to protect Syrian oil fields and battling Iranian-backed militias, and putting an end to legally dubious military operations in the Horn of Africa.

“Moreover, the administration must commit to full legal transparency regarding the use of military force. Both this administration and previous administrations have failed to provide Congress with timely reporting on the 2001 AUMF, as required by 50 USC 1550. Additionally, President Biden has failed to respond to lawmakers’ inquiries about the administration’s legal justifications for the expansive use of the 2001 AUMF and Article II authorities. Without such transparency, Congress is unable to fully exercise its oversight and legislative duties over war and peace.

"It's encouraging to see an administration committed to addressing outdated AUMFs. However, a genuine commitment will involve respecting congressional authority over war by proactively ending unauthorized military activities and implementing comprehensive transparency measures."