1. Statement
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

AUMF Amendment Tabled, a Squandered Opportunity

The Senate Ducks a Vote on War

By Yasmine Taeb, September 13, 2017

On September 13, the United States Senate voted (61-36) to table an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, which called for repealing the 2001 and 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

FCNL denounces the vote to table this amendment, when Congress needs to meet its Constitutional duties to guide decisions over war and peace by voting on whether to repeal the open-ended, overly-stretched 2001 AUMF.

FCNL urges Congress to both debate and vote on war authorization. Over the past 16 years, the 2001 AUMF has provided three administrations with a blank check for war. As FCNL has noted many times, the 2001 AUMF is a deeply flawed, staggeringly overbroad piece of legislation, and it is past time for Congress to put it to rest. Sen. Rand Paul's amendment stands as a strong statement against endless warfare but also promotes debate and compels Congress to reckon with its history of inaction on this issue. 

It is long past time for Congress to reclaim its Constitutionally-designated war authority. We urge all members of Congress, particularly those invested in Congress’s power to determine when and where our nation goes to war, to engage in a rigorous debate on war authority, and to take the critical step of repealing the 2001 and 2002 AUMF as soon as possible.  

We hope that future attempts to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMF are greeted with more support. Click the link below to see how your Senator voted:  Senate Vote on Tabling AUMF Amendment

Yasmine Taeb

  • Legislative Representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Yasmine directs FCNL’s work on a number of human rights and civil liberties issues, including lobbying for increased resettlement of Syrian refugees, more transparency and oversight of the U.S. lethal drones program, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, and for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF, among other issues.