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

Three Wins in the House for Congressional War Powers

By Don Chen, July 22, 2020

On July 14, the House Appropriations Committee took three important steps towards ending our endless wars and preventing a new war with Iran.

The committee adopted three amendments to the annual defense spending bill from Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) to reassert congressional war powers. The first amendment repeals the blank check for war—the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)—after eight months. The second repeals the 2002 Iraq AUMF, and the third prohibits funds for war with Iran unless explicitly authorized by Congress.

The tireless advocacy of FCNL’s staff and advocates has laid the foundation for these important victories.

The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify 41 operations in 19 countries at the cost of 800,000 lives and $6.4 trillion. In January, the Trump administration erroneously claimed the outdated 2002 Iraq AUMF justified the reckless assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The tireless advocacy of FCNL’s staff and advocates has laid the foundation for these important victories. Since 2019, FCNL’s Advocacy Teams have worked hard to end endless warsby urging their members to reassert their constitutional war powers to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs and prohibit war with Iran.

According to FCNL General Secretary Diane Randall, “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.”

Through two unprecedented decades of endless war, FCNL’s powerful and prophetic witness has kept the flame for peace alive. It is thanks to our Advocacy Teams and nationwide members that we have come so far in our efforts to end U.S. wars and forestall efforts to commence new ones.

A full House vote is expected before the end of the month. We call on our representatives to support these provisions and ensure they are retained in the final defense spending bill.

U.S. Wars & Militarism 

Since September 11, Congress has largely ceded its constitutional authority to determine when and where the U.S. goes to war, and three different presidents have expanded our country’s military presence around the world. The result has been a ballooning military budget, torture, compromises on civil and religious liberties and rising Islamophobia. Help FCNL change these policies.

Don Chen

  • Program Assistant, Militarism and Human Rights

Don was the Program Assistant for Militarism and Human Rights for 2019-2020. He worked to move U.S. foreign policy towards a more peaceful and ethical direction, primarily supporting efforts to end the war in Afghanistan and repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Don worked with nationwide grassroots supporters, coalition partners, members of Congress, and legislative staff to reduce the human cost of American foreign policy.