1. Press Release
  2. Middle East & Iran, U.S. Wars & Militarism

Faith Groups Urge Congress to Prevent Unauthorized War with Iran

By Timothy McHugh, September 17, 2019


Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), along with over 50 national faith organizations, urged Congress to prevent an unauthorized war with Iran.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

In a letter sent to members of Congress today, over 50 national faith organizations urged them to support a key provision in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent war with Iran. This provision, passed earlier by the House, would block government funds from being used in a war with Iran without congressional authorization. It also prohibits the 2001 and/or 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from being invoked to justify a war with Iran.

Different versions of the NDAA passed each chamber over the summer, and a final agreement is currently being hammered out by House and Senate negotiators.

“Republicans and Democrats must put aside partisan differences and come together to prevent a war with Iran,” said Diane Randall, FCNL’s executive secretary. “Congress has a moral and constitutional responsibility to use its power to avoid being drawn into yet another senseless war.”

In May 2018, President Trump unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, despite Iran’s full compliance. Earlier this year, the administration reportedly endorsed war plans to send 120,000 troops and 120 warships to the region, coming within 10 minutes of a unilateral strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of an American drone.

With 250 votes in favor, including 27 Republicans, the House NDAA amendment, sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Matt Gaetz (FL-01), has broad bipartisan support and could reduce tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

“Retaining the bipartisan Khanna-Gaetz amendment in the NDAA has the power to prevent a worst-case scenario with Iran and makes clear that the outdated 2001 and 2002 AUMFs do not authorize new wars,” said Hassan El-Tayyab, FCNL’s legislative representative for Middle East policy. “Both House and Senate negotiators must stand firm in demanding inclusion of the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to prevent an illegal war with Iran.”

As the faith leaders’ letter states: “we can think of little more abhorrent than the idea of starting a new war in which thousands, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands, of innocent civilians would be needlessly slaughtered.”

To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.

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Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.