US Senate votes to repeal 2002 measure that approved Iraq war

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters during a news conference outside of the chamber, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters during a news conference outside of the chamber, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate votes to repeal the resolution that gave a green light for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an effort to return a basic war power to Congress from the White House 20 years after an authorization many now say was a mistake.

Iraqi deaths are estimated in the hundreds of thousands, and nearly 5,000 US troops were killed in the war after President George W. Bush’s administration falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

“This body rushed into a war,” says Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat who has pushed for years to repeal the powers. The war has had “massive consequences,” Kaine said.

Senators vote 66-30 to repeal the 2002 measure and also the 1991 authorization that sanctioned the US-led Gulf War. If passed by the House, the repeal would not be expected to affect any current military deployments. But lawmakers in both parties are increasingly seeking to claw back congressional powers over US military strikes and deployments, and some lawmakers who voted for the Iraq War two decades ago now say that was a mistake.

“Americans want to see an end to endless Middle East wars,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, adding that passing the repeal “is a necessary step to putting these bitter conflicts squarely behind us.”

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