The House votes to repeal 2002 military authorization for the Iraq War, with Biden's blessing

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Barbara Lee, Joe Biden
Barbara Lee, Joe Biden Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House on Thursday voted 268 to 161 to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing former President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. The bill to revoke the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (UAMF) had bipartisan backing — 49 Republicans voted with all but one House Democrat to pass the measure, authored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) — and the support of President Biden. Senate Majorit Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) endorsed the bill Wednesday and promised to hold a vote on it later this year.

The 2002 AUMF is seen as low-hanging fruit compared with repealing the 2001 authorization to attack the parties responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Still, when the House passed Lee's 2002 AUMF repeal measure after the Trump administration assassinated Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, only 11 Republicans voted yes.

Supporters of repealing the 2002 AUMF point out that the Iraq War formally ended years ago, and there's widespread agreement that successive presidents have used the 2001 and 2002 authorization to conduct military operations only tangentially related to their original intent. Some Republicans oppose repealing the war authorizations without a replacement on deck, and the Biden White House has been negotiating with lawmakers on a 2001 AUMF successor better aligned with the current terrorism threats.

The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war but makes the president commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

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