The US House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would repeal the authorization of use of military force in Iraq that has been in effect since 2002.
The 268-161 House vote came one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his support of the legislation, which repeals the authorization that approved the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
“The Iraq War has been over for nearly a decade,” Schumer said. “The authorization passed in 2002 is no longer necessary in 2021.”
Schumer said he wanted to be clear that legislation terminating the use of force in Iraq does not mean the US is abandoning the country.
He said the measure would eliminate the possibility of a future administration “reaching back into the legal dustbin to use it as a justification for military adventurism.”
Joe Biden’s administration revealed in a statement that the legislation would not affect US military operations around the world.
The White House also said that Biden is committed to working with Congress to replace outdated authorizations of military force with narrower frameworks designed to ensure the US can protect Americans from terrorist threats.
Senator Bob Menendez stressed that bilateral ties between Iraq and the US should be reconsidered in order to push forward diplomatic efforts.
Republican Senator Todd Young said that this legislation would indicate that the US is now a partner to Iraq and not an enemy.
The 2002 authorization was directed against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Former President Donald Trump cited the authorization to launch a drone strike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
A separate Authorization for Use of Military Force was issued in 2001 in wake of the September 11 attacks to allow then President George W. Bush to order the invasion of Afghanistan.
A 1991 authorization gave then-President George H.W. Bush the authority to use force against Iraq to enforce a series of UN Security Council resolutions passed in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.