WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) released the following statement on the House’s vote to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF):
“The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. For nearly 20 years Congress has been circumvented when the United States has engaged in armed conflicts abroad. It is vitally important that this responsibility be given back to the legislative branch so that “the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of the United States Armed Forces into hostilities.” I have supported multiple efforts to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Today, I continued my support as the House voted to repeal the AUMF and terminate the nearly two-decade-old congressional authorization for using military force in Iraq, first enacted in 2002 and utilized on several occasions since. I thank my colleagues and President Biden for his support to bring the power to declare war back into the hands of Congress,” said Congresswoman Hayes.
Congress passed the AUMF Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 in October 2002 to address the threat posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. It permitted the President to use the armed forces as “necessary and appropriate” to “defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and “to enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.” For the past 19 years, the 2002 AUMF has remained as a U.S. statute --- despite a formal end to U.S. military operations in Iraq in December 2011.
The repeal of the 2002 AUMF does not have an effect on the United States' ability to defend our military, diplomatic personnel, and U.S. interests in Iraq, as the Constitution gives the President legal authority to undertake operations to defend America and her citizens.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.