12.08.15

300 Days of Congressional Inaction on ISIL

Washington, DC – It’s been 300 day since President Obama sent a draft authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) to Congress. Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement:

“Everyone agrees that ISIL is a horrific terrorist organization that must be degraded and dismantled. As this conflict expands, Congress must be actively involved in addressing ISIL.  

Yet, for the past 300 days Congress has ignored its constitutional responsibility to debate the costs and consequences of yet another war in the Middle East.

This is simply unacceptable. The American people deserve better; they deserve a Congress that gives them a voice in matters of war and peace.

Every day, this war continues to escalate. Last week, we saw the deployment of additional specialized ‘expeditionary’ forces which are tantamount to boots on the ground.

On Sunday, President Obama once again called on Congress to debate these important issues. Congress can and must to better than continuing to abdicate our constitutional duty, especially when the issue is so vital.

National security experts are clear, there is no military solution to this conflict. Only a comprehensive, regionally-led strategy that addresses the underlying political, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian issues in the region will ultimately be effective.  

My legislation, H.J. Res. 30, lays out a comprehensive strategy while ending the blank checks for endless war that have allowed this war to escalate unchecked by Congress.

As we mark 300 days of Congressional inaction, I join my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, in calling on Speaker Ryan to immediately allow a debate on the costs and consequences of this war.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.