McGovern, Congressional Leaders Applaud Biden Administration’s Commitment to Ending Endless Wars, Call for Congressional Action

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representatives James P. McGovern, Chair of the House Rules Committee, Barbara Lee (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Anthony Brown (D-MD) applauded the Biden Administration’s recent support for reining in executive war power. The lawmakers, who urged Biden on his first full day in office to take action on repealing the AUMF, released the following joint statement:

“We welcome the president’s renewed commitment to ending endless wars and taking outdated authorizations off the books.   

“The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs were both passed nearly 20 years ago and bear little resemblance to the threats we face today.  The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify military operations in at least seven different countries, against a continuously expanding list of both old and new adversaries.  Those same three administrations have further identified to Congress combat-ready counterterrorism deployments to at least 14 additional countries, indicating that the 2001 AUMF could justify armed combat in those places as well.  

“The 2002 AUMF, intended for use in Iraq, is obsolete. Yet if this outdated and unnecessary authorization remains on the books, it can potentially be used for military action Congress never intended to authorize. We cannot afford to leave outdated AUMFs in place indefinitely, and Congress must play a more active role in order to reassert its constitutional responsibilities in any future authorizations.

“It is past time for Congress to exercise our constitutional duty on matters of the use of military force. We must act quickly to repeal outdated authorities, while ensuring that any updated authorities are narrowly tailored to our security needs and regularly reevaluated by Congress. We are excited to see the emergence of a coalition in the Senate committed to joining us in this effort, and hope the White House will work with us to repeal the 2002 AUMF and consider how the 2001 AUMF should be addressed in the coming months.”

The lawmakers are also cosponsors of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s legislation, H.R.256, to repeal the 2002 AUMF. To read the full letter sent by the lawmakers, click here