March 30, 2023

Senate votes to end authorizations for Gulf, Iraq wars

Bill Moree

The U.S. Capitol building, in 2022.

Both of New Mexico’s U.S. Senators were in the bipartisan majority in voting to repeal the decades-old authorizations of use of military force in Iraq. 

The chamber voted 66-30 to repeal the AUMFs.

The authorizations came in 1991 and 2002 and have been used to justify American military actions throughout the Middle East well beyond their initial conflicts.

Attempts to end the wide-spanning AUMFs over the years have fallen short, most recently in 2021, when a Republican blockade ended the White-House-backed proposal.

Both of New Mexico’s U.S. Senators are Democrats.

“Congress has the significant responsibility to authorize when and where we send troops into battle. It’s in the Constitution,” U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich said in a statement. “The Iraq war authorizations have far exceeded their lifespan, created risk of misuse by the previous administration.”

“Today, I voted to end the outdated and unnecessary 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force,” U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján said. “This is the first step towards stopping these endless wars.”

Both Senators have supported the repeal of authorizations for years. 

The effort now heads to the House, which has a narrow Republican majority.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-California, supports the measure, according to CNN.


  • Matthew Reichbach

    Matthew Reichbach is the editor of the NM Political Report. The former founder and editor of the NM Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and one of the original hires at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation and formerly published, “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.