Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauded yesterday’s votes in the House Appropriations Committee to adopt three amendments from Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13) to reassert Congress’s constitutional authority over war powers.
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Rep. Lee’s amendments to the annual Defense Appropriations Act would sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) after eight months, repeal the 2002 Iraq War AUMF, and prohibit war with Iran unless explicitly authorized by Congress.
“Congress is continuing its path away from war and towards peace,” said FCNL General Secretary Diane Randall. “FCNL has spent years working tirelessly to end these authorizations that have kept us at war for nearly two decades. For years, thousands of our grass roots Advocacy Team members have mobilized urging Congress to repeal current AUMFs and we will continue to advocate for these measures until they become law.”
Yesterday’s votes are the latest in a string of Congressional activities to rein in current wars and prevent new ones. In May, Donald Trump vetoed the Iran War Powers Resolution (S.J. Res. 68), which directed the president to terminate the use of the military to engage in hostilities in or against Iran. The House has twice voted to repeal the 2002 Iraq War AUMF—in January, as an amendment to the No War Against Iran Act (H.R. 550) and last summer, as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Last year the House also included Rep. Lee’s provision to repeal the 2001 AUMF in the annual defense spending bill.
“It is far past time to bring almost two decades of nonstop war to an end,” Rep. Lee said. “The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history with troops now fighting a war that was launched before they were even born. Enough is enough.”
Rep. Lee has been the leading voice in Congress on the need to end the damaging post-9/11 wars, which have caused untold harm across the globe over nearly 19 years. These wars have resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 people, including 335,000 civilians, at a cost of $6.4 trillion.
“We are thankful for Rep. Lee’s leadership on this issue,” said Heather Brandon-Smith, FCNL’s legislative director for militarism and human rights. “It’s long past time for Congress to repeal current war authorizations and reclaim its constitutional prerogative to determine when the United States chooses war.”
A full House vote is expected before the end of the month.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.