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Dear Member of Congress,
On behalf of Americans for Prosperity’s activists in all 50 states, I urge you to vote “YES” in support of Senator Tim Kaine’s Amendment #4133 to H.R. 4350, which would repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Congress originally drafted and passed the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs to authorize the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars against the regime of Saddam Hussein. With that government overthrown, both AUMFs are obsolete—the successor Iraqi government is now a partner of the U.S., and an active force authorization against it is unnecessary and inappropriate.
Since then, neither AUMF has been used as a sole authority for US military action, but history has shown that Administrations of both parties have been all too willing to use them to strengthen legal justifications for military force in Iraq that were completely disconnected from the original invasion in 2003. In fact, less than a fifth of current Members of Congress had the opportunity to vote on the 2002 AUMF, while only 5 percent voted on the 1991 AUMF.
Over 4,500 American service members have been killed and tens of thousands more wounded in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands more who served continue to bear the burden of the war through mental health challenges and other illnesses connected to their deployments. Apart from the human toll, the war has cost American taxpayers nearly $2 trillion. Further actions taken under these AUMFs only work to keep American lives in harm’s way, amplify the threat those troops are under, and continue the usurpation of one of the heaviest responsibilities the American people have entrusted to Congress.
A repeal of the 1991 and 2002 Iraq AUMFs will remove the ability for any continued abuse of the authorization, begin to restore Congress’ role in matters of war and peace, and force more Congressional debate over when, if, and (most importantly) why we send American troops into harm’s way.
This effort rises above partisan politics. Currently, Sen. Kaine’s standalone bill, S.J. Res. 10, which this amendment replicates, has over 43 bipartisan co-sponsors. According to recent polling, over two-thirds of the American people support leaving Iraq, further demonstrating the cross-partisan support on this issue.
We stand ready to work together on economic recovery, public health, and other issues of top concern to Americans. The 1991 and 2002 Iraq AUMFs enable policies that needlessly endanger American lives, waste taxpayer dollars, and distract other more pressing priorities. It should be repealed.
Please see the attached letter of support by our friends at Concerned Veterans for America and our foreign policy partners for 1991 and 2002 AUMF repeal.
We urge you to vote “YES” on SA 4133 to H.R. 4350. This vote will be recorded in our legislative scorecard.
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity