National Organizations Applaud Adoption of Rep. Lee's Amendment to Repeal 2001 War Authorization
Last Updated on June 29, 2017.
Just Foreign Policy – “Just Foreign Policy welcomes the House Appropriations Committee’s bipartisan vote to sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The 2001 AUMF was breathtakingly and unwisely overbroad, as Rep. Lee correctly noted at the time when she stood alone to vote against it. It was limited neither by geography nor by named targets, nor did it have any time limit. Three administrations have abused its overbroad delegation of authority to target groups with dubious ties to Al Qaeda, far from Afghanistan. We hope that passage of this amendment will set the stage for Congress to reclaim its constitutionally-mandated authority by setting clear limits on when and where our nation uses military force against groups with alleged ties to Al Qaeda. We also hope that it will set the stage for Congress to block President Trump from using military force that Congress has never authorized against actors in Yemen and Syria that are clearly not associated forces of Al Qaeda, including the Houthi-Saleh alliance in Yemen and Syrian government and allied forces in Syria.” [6/29/2017]
Friends Committee on National Legislation – “FCNL applauds the House Appropriations Committee’s bipartisan vote to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Over the past sixteen years, the 2001 AUMF has provided three administrations with a blank check for war. Not only does Rep. Lee’s amendment stand as a strong statement against endless warfare, but we hope that it will also promote debate and compel Congress to reckon with its history of inaction on this issue. It is long past time for Congress to reclaim its constitutionally-designated authority by setting clear parameters around when and where our nation uses military force. We are deeply grateful to Rep. Lee for her relentless advocacy against endless war. Since she first spoke out against this legislation in 2001—the only member of Congress to do so—she has served as a strong, persistent voice for peace on Capitol Hill. Coming together across the aisle to support Rep. Lee’s proposal, representatives on the Appropriations Committee clearly prioritized their constitutional responsibilities and the good of the American people over partisan politics. We are particularly heartened by the comments made by Representatives Pete Visclosky (D-IN), Tom Cole (R-OK), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Scott Taylor (R-VA), and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) in support of Rep. Lee’s amendment, and we thank them for speaking out. We look forward to weighing in as this debate moves forward.” [6/29/2017]
Human Rights First – “Human Rights First today applauds the House Appropriation Committee for adopting an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The 2001 AUMF authorized force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, but has been used by the executive branch as the primary legal basis for military operations against an array of terrorist organizations in at least seven different countries for purposes far beyond what Congress intended. Today’s amendment was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). ‘It is long past time for Congress to revisit the 2001 authorization and tailor the president’s authority to current threats. Today’s amendment is an important step toward this goal,’ said Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion. ‘The executive branch’s continued reliance on the 2001 AUMF for military operations far beyond what Congress originally intended undermines Congress’s important constitutional role in authorizing war, national security, U.S. leadership in the world, and human rights both at home and abroad.'” [6/29/2017]
Peace Action – “The 2001 AUMF is the reason the U.S. has been involved in military campaigns in at least seven countries. It’s the reason we’ve allowed the war in Afghanistan to become America’s longest war. It’s the reason a whole generation has grown up not knowing a time without war. Representative Lee has championed opposition to endless war brought on by the 2001 AUMF since day one with her sole vote to oppose it. The adoption her amendment to repeal it gives Congress a chance to reclaim its constitutional role as an arbiter of war and peace. This is an opportunity to course correct after a decade and a half of failed U.S. policy in the Middle East. We cannot afford to let it slip through our fingers.” [6/29/2017]
Women’s Action for New Directions – “For too long, our government has been using a 2001 law to justify US military operations all over the world, not just in Afghanistan but also in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria. The repeal of this law would re-establish proper Congressional prerogatives to debate and vote on whether to send our troops into harm’s way — especially at a time when some of those who have served face the prospect of deportation. Congress’s decision not to debate, review, or change this 16-year old authorization means they have abrogated their oversight responsibilities. Further, subsequent presidents have not only waged endless wars, but they have also sought historically high levels of spending to conduct them. This year, Congress will debate and vote on a $700 billion Pentagon budget, hundreds of billions of dollars more than peak spending during the Reagan buildup or the Vietnam War. Moreover, the Trump administration has begun to conduct military operations in Syria — against Syrian and Iranian-backed forces — without Congressional authorization. Repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force will send a strong signal that the executive branch should be constrained in its ability to conduct military operations abroad. WAND strongly applauds Congresswoman Lee for her tireless work on this issue and urges Congress to uphold this provision as the legislation is advanced through the legislative process.” [6/29/2017]
Win Without War – “Sixteen years ago, in the hours after the September 11th attacks, Congress provided a blank check to wage war around the world that has now been used by three Presidents. It is long past time that Congress do its job and have a debate and vote on America’s endless wars. We applaud Rep. Barbara Lee’s leadership in this important issue. As the lone voice at the time warning of the 2001 AUMF’s expansive potential, it is fitting – and just – that today, it is Rep. Lee’s amendment that is finally canceling that blank check for endless war. As Congress continues its consideration of the the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill, we strongly urge members to maintain this important provision and enact a repeal of the 2001 AUMF into law. The men and women elected to serve us have no more important duty than deciding whether to send the American military to war. This important legislation is the only way to finally force Congress to once again fulfill that solemn duty.” [6/29/2017]