Congressman Steven Horsford Votes to Repeal 2002 Authorization of Military Force

January 30, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) voted to pass two House Amendments, the No War Against Iran Act and a repeal of the Authorization of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. 

These votes follow the House passage of the War Powers Resolution Limiting the President’s Military Actions Regarding Iran on January 9, 2020. The two amendments passed today are also designed to reassert Congress’s constitutional authority on matters of war. 

“Today, I voted to protect the nearly 5,000 service members and their families that I represent in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District in repealing the outdated 2002 AUMF. Leaving the 2002 AUMF in place would have increased the likelihood that future presidents will use it as a basis to start a new war, or expand a current one, without Congress’s explicit authorization,” Congressman Horsford said. “Under the Constitution, Congress has the sole duty to declare war. Repealing obsolete Authorizations for Use of Military Force is essential to Congress living up to its constitutional responsibilities. Our brave men and women serving in the military do their job when called to defend our country.  It’s time for Members of Congress to do our job to debate and approve, when necessary, any authorization to use force.”

President Trump recently cited the 2002 AUMF as justification for an airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassim Soleimani.

The amendment to repeal the 2002 AUMF is identical to H.R. 2456, To Repeal the AUMF Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, which Congressman Horsford cosponsored earlier in January. Congressman Horsford supported Congresswoman Lee’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2020 to repeal the 2002 AUMF. The bipartisan amendment passed the House of Representatives with 242 votes. However, it was not included in the final NDAA compromise between the House and Senate.

The No War Against Iran Act, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), enforces the text of current law as written in the War Powers Resolution [PL 93-148], based on the basic facts that, under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war and authorize the use of military force and that Congress has not authorized the use of military force against Iran. 

In July, Congressman Horsford voted for a bipartisan amendment from Rep. Khanna to the NDAA for the Fiscal Year 2020 to prohibit funds from being used for military operations against Iran without explicit authorization from Congress. This bipartisan amendment passed the House of Representatives with 251 votes. Similarly, it was not included in the final compromise.