1. Washington Newsletter

Washington Newsletter: Changing the Blank Check for War

May 1, 2019


With the Trump Administration taking threatening steps toward Iran and Venezuela, and U.S. forces involved in dozens of conflicts around the world, it is clearer than ever that Congress must act to take back its constitutional authority over war. This authority is guaranteed in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, but for too long, Congress has ceded this power to the executive branch.

Recently, we have seen cause for hope that Congress is reasserting its power. In April, Congress sent a historic bill (S.J. Res. 7) to the president’s desk to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Although President Trump vetoed the bill, this is the first time that Congress has invoked the 1973 War Powers Act to end an illegal war.

FCNL contributed to this achievement by faithfully working with a broad coalition of organizations and allies in both parties and chambers of Congress.

Read the rest of this article, and the full Washington Newsletter for May-June 2019, below.

Background Changing the Blank Check for War 

With the Trump Administration taking threatening steps toward Iran and Venezuela, and U.S. forces involved in dozens of conflicts around the world, it is clearer than ever that Congress must act to take back its constitutional authority over war. This authority is guaranteed in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, but for too long, Congress has ceded this power to the executive branch.

Background Getting to the Core of U.S. Militarism 

Since 9/11, the United States has played an increasingly aggressive, militarized, and confrontational role in the world. Invasion, occupation, drone wars, and targeted assassinations have become so ingrained in U.S. foreign policy that many cannot imagine an alternative. An entire generation of Americans has grown up thinking this behavior is normal

Update Bills and a Budget for the World We Seek 

Five months into the 116th Congress and FCNL is off to a running start with a large portfolio of bills. So far, it passed one bill and dozens more have been introduced in Congress. As bills are being introduced, FCNL staff lobbyists are also actively working to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2020 federal spending bills reflect our values as people of faith.

Advocacy Resource Visiting Friends and Opening Doors for Witness 

By Eric Ginsburg

Every year, I leave FCNL’s annual meeting feeling new energy and enthusiasm. I leave buoyed and encouraged by the shared commitment of several hundred Friends and friends of Friends to the causes of peace, equality, justice, and a sustainable future.

Background A Transformative Middle Ground 

Question & Answer with Andrew Tomlinson

Andrew Tomlinson heads the New York Office of the Quaker United Nations Office. He is a member of the Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting in New Jersey.