WASHINGTON — Win Without War Executive Director Stephen Miles released the following statement regarding the House Appropriations Committee’s passage of Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) amendment to repeal both the 2001 & 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and require congressional authorization for war with Iran:
“The President simply should not have a blank check to wage war around the world without the assent of Congress. Right now, the United States is militarily engaged in 80 countries — and the 2001 AUMF has been used to justify 41 military actions in at least 14 countries. We applaud the House, and the leadership of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for bringing us one step closer toward ending these endless wars, righting the wrongs of decades of disastrous U.S. foreign policy, and preventing a new, unfathomable war with Iran.
“Administration after administration have used the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs as a blank check for endless war — the boundaries of its authorities stretched beyond recognition to lead the Trump administration to absurdly claim the authority to kill Iranian Maj. General Qasem Soleimani this January. A vote to repeal these AUMFs and require congressional authorization for war with Iran is long overdue, creates critical safeguards against the Trump administration’s reckless foreign policy, and presents a clear marker of what direction we hope a new administration will take.
“The decision to go to war is a grave one. That’s why the power to do so is constitutionally vested in Congress, where it can receive due consideration and open debate. But for the past few decades, that authority has been gradually seized by an increasingly powerful executive relying on spurious legal arguments and secrecy. With today’s vote, the House took a necessary step to once again reclaiming that authority.
“Now it will be up to the full House to reaffirm its support for these measures by passing the amended FY2021 Defense Appropriations Act and demand these provisions are included in the final bill that heads to the president’s desk.”