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30 Jan, 2020 19:45

Bush-era Iraq war authorization voted out by US House

Bush-era Iraq war authorization voted out by US House

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal a 2002 resolution authorizing the US to wage war on Iraq. The law was used by the Trump administration to justify the recent drone killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The House voted 236 to 166 to kill the 2002 Authorization for Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq, with eleven Republicans joining the Democrats to vote in favor, and two Democrats bucking their party to oppose it.

The 2002 AUMF was drafted during the presidency of George W. Bush to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been used by subsequent administrations to continue military activity in the country – most recently to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad earlier this month.

Rather than as a separate measure, the repeal resolution was offered as an amendment to a law about WWII commemorative coins already approved by the Senate. The same was done with a resolution to block Trump from using federal funds for "unauthorized military force against Iran,” which also cleared the House floor with a vote of 228-175.

Also on rt.com US House votes to block funding for military action against Iran

Though both bills passed the Democrat-controlled House on Thursday, they will likely be shot down in the Republican-held Senate, which is currently busy hearing the impeachment case against Trump. They are also likely to be vetoed by Trump if they ever make it to his desk.

Trump has not threatened military action against Iran in recent weeks, though the bills were written in the aftermath of Soleimani’s killing, when Iran responded by striking Iraqi military bases used by US forces with a flurry of ballistic missiles – prompting fears the US president may launch an all-out offensive on the Islamic Republic.

Ultimately, Trump opted to slap further economic sanctions on Iran rather than use military force.

The 2002 AUMF is often confused with another, passed in 2001, that granted President Bush the power to wage war without Congressional approval against anyone he deems “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Since its passing, that act has been invoked 41 times, by multiple administrations, to allow US military action in 19 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California), the sponsor of Thursday's bill, was the only member of the House to vote against the 2001 AUMF. Though there have been several attempts at repeal over the years – including one led by Lee in 2017 – it remains in place.

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