WASHINGTON – Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) today voted in support of legislation led by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IND) to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq.
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These authorizations grant broad power to the President of the United States to deploy military force in Iraq without further consultation with Congress.
“Very practically, we no longer need an authorization for use of military force against a country we now regard as a partner,” Welch wrote in a statement for the Congressional Record. “America will defend herself—always. However, it is critical that America’s use of force be thoughtful and deliberate, informed by accurate intelligence, and used only when necessary to preserve and protect our vital national security interests [and] I urge all Senators to support S. 316, the Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”
The United States conducts no ongoing military activities that rely primarily on the 2002 AUMF and no ongoing military activities that rely on the 1991 AUMF. Repealing the two AUMFs will, therefore, have no impact on active military activities and would ensure these authorizations are not contorted into justifications for future military conflict outside of their original intent.
Sen. Welch has previously voted to repeal the AUMFs against Iraq five times and has been a staunch opponent of the Iraq War throughout his time in Congress. The Senator consistently voted to preserve Congressional authority over the use of military force and will continue to do so in the United States Senate.