News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement regarding her support for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF. The amendment, offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), would sunset current authorization six months after enactment, requiring Congress to debate a new AUMF for the ongoing wars against Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban.

“There are few votes we face as United States Senators more momentous and difficult than those involving when and how to wage war, win the peace, and protect the safety and security of our families, our servicemembers, our allies, and our nation. I voted for the war in Afghanistan in 2001 because I believed we needed to take out the Taliban and fight al Qaeda. I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002 because I couldn’t get a clear answer from the Bush Administration on what our plan was to win the peace. And now, 16 years later, I am supporting Senator Paul’s amendment because we need to force a true debate and new votes on these long running and vastly expanded wars.

“I believe that this is a conversation we need to have as a nation and a debate that we need to have in Congress—and I don’t think we can wait any longer. When President Trump came into office, he had an obligation to articulate a clear strategy for winning the wars we were waging and securing the peace. He has not done this. Instead, he has acted erratically and inconsistently, offered vagaries instead of specifics, attempted to set new policy on whims through Tweets, refused to engage with or plan for the true cost of war for our nation and the veterans who serve us so bravely, and continued to rely on authorizations of force from sixteen years ago without laying out a clear rationale or strategy for the path ahead. Nine months into this Administration, President Trump has made it clear that this isn’t going to change—and I believe that now it’s incumbent upon us in Congress to force this conversation to happen and force this Administration to act. We have men and women fighting every day against those who would do us harm, and we owe it to them to not wait any longer.

“I will be encouraging my colleagues to support this amendment and I will do everything I can to force this conversation in Congress and make sure any authorization of force is responsible, appropriate, and constitutional—while giving the Administration the tools it needs to keep our families safe and protect our nation now and over the long term. I have voted for authorizations of force, and I have voted against them—and I will go into this next debate with the same principles, values, and commitment to the safety and security of our nation that has guided me before.”