In the News

The Nation: No More Blank Checks for War

June 21, 2018

Nearly 17 years into the war in Afghanistan, there is still no end in sight. Our strategy and goals for the region are murky and ill-defined-and yet, while the violence continues unabated, the media and Congress have turned a blind eye to the conflict. Despite the trillions of dollars spent on the so-called War on Terror-a sum that could have sent every young person in the United States to college-we have invested almost nothing in a peace process to draw down our military operations. Even wor… Continue Reading

The Pot Industry Is Overwhelmingly White, and One Congresswoman Wants to Change That

June 14, 2018

Sometimes, all it takes is a poorly named weed strain to illuminate a real problem. Just this week, Shanita Penny, the president of the board of directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, was contacted by a black woman who was shocked that a marijuana dispensary in Maryland is selling a strain called "Strange Fruit" - taking its name from the Billie Holiday song that uses fruit as a horrifyingly vivid metaphor for the countless African Americans who were lynched across the Deep S… Continue Reading

East Bay Times: We must close the racial wealth divide

October 07, 2017

by Barbara Lee

The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported new data showing median incomes rising sharply in the San Francisco area. While many in the Bay Area latched onto the promising economic outlook, I was immediately struck by the glaring headline that was missed. Black households, already far below the average median income in the Bay Area, were locked out of this explosion of wealth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area jumped by 9 perce… Continue Reading

How Barbara Lee Became An Army of One

July 30, 2017

by Austin Wright

It's a recent Wednesday afternoon, and Barbara Lee's communications director is trying to find her. She's scheduled to give a speech in nine minutes, and she hasn't read it yet. The anti-war congresswoman-from an ultraliberal congressional district that includes Berkeley, California-has somehow managed to spark an uprising, joined by rank-and-file Republicans, against House Speaker Paul Ryan. Their demand: Repeal the 2001 war authorization against Al Qaeda and begin debating a new authorization… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee closer to goal of revising military-force resolution

July 29, 2017

by John Wildermuth

For Rep. Barbara Lee, a loss can be just a stop on the road to victory. A little more than a week ago, the Oakland Democrat's amendment calling for repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allows presidents to wage war against terrorists without direct congressional approval, was unceremoniously yanked from a defense appropriations bill by Republican leaders. But for Lee, the real news is that her effort to have Congress revise its rules for war-making got that far in … Continue Reading

Ryan squashed war authorization repeal, congresswoman says

July 19, 2017

by Joe Gould

A proposal to end the 2001 authorization of the use of military force and any operations conducted under it was stripped from a House measure to fund the Pentagon in 2018. The House Rules Committee stripped the provision from the bill late Tuesday. It had been sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and surprisingly backed by Democrats and Republicans on the Appropriations Committee on June 29. In a series of tweets late Tuesday, Lee accused House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of orchestrating i… Continue Reading

After Obama punts, East Bay lawmakers continue pursuit of justice for Port Chicago 50

July 19, 2017

by Lisa P White

Despite appeals from lawmakers, President Barack Obama left office without exonerating the African-American sailors convicted of mutiny during World War II following the deadly explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine. With racial bias in policing and the criminal justice system in the national spotlight and the first African-American president in the Oval Office, supporters believed they had the best opportunity in years to secure justice for the sailors. For the second time, Reps. Mark D… Continue Reading

Republicans Quietly Killed An Effort To Change How The US Fights Terrorism

July 19, 2017

by Emma Loop

A House subcommittee shocked many in late June when it overwhelmingly supported a progressive lawmaker's amendment to repeal the 2001 war authorization that the US has used as the legal basis for wars against a broadening set of terrorist groups in multiple countries since 9/11. The top Republican on the subcommittee initially opposed the proposal from Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, which would have given Congress just eight months to debate and pass a new authorization to continue … Continue Reading

Barbara Lee to Take AUMF Repeal to Foreign Affairs

July 19, 2017

by Rema Rahman

Rep. Barbara Lee on Wednesday vowed to take her long-time efforts to repeal the current Authorization for Use of Military Force, which dates to 2001 but is used for a wide range of conflicts now, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee after Republican leaders removed it from a spending bill the California Democrat successfully attached the repeal to. The California Democrat offered the provision as an amendment during an Appropriations Committee markup that was passed with bipartisan support by… Continue Reading

AUMF measure takes a step backward, despite bipartisan support

July 19, 2017

by Steve Benen

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Congress easily approved an AUMF - an Authorization for the Use of Military Force - empowering the Bush/Cheney administration to respond to those responsible for the terrorist strikes. At the time, the vote was nearly unanimous, but not quite: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) opposed the measure, fearing the AUMF was too broad and would be used to justify foreign interventions that had nothing to do with 9/11. In hindsight, her concerns were well grounded. As Rachel n… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee Criticizes Ryan For Stripping Her Amendment To Sunset 2001 AUMF

July 19, 2017

by Matt Shuham

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) criticized House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) Tuesday for stripping her amendment to sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force from the annual defense appropriations bill "in the dead of night." The authorization, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, has allowed three presidents to pursue militarily nations, organizations and individuals even tangentially related to the those attacks. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against it in 2001. S… Continue Reading

House Democrat accuses Paul Ryan of stripping war authorization repeal in "dead of night"

July 19, 2017

by Rebecca Shabad

A House Democrat whose amendment to repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that was wrapped into a spending bill is accusing Speaker Paul Ryan of stripping it from the measure "in the dead of night." Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, tweeted about the development late Tuesday after Republicans on the House Rules Committee removed it from the 2018 defense spending bill and replaced it with another amendment. Her bill, which lawmakers unexpectedly wrapped into the spend… Continue Reading

Ryan rescues Trump, strips bipartisan amendment to repeal authorization for use of military force

July 19, 2017

by Rebekah Entralgo

Just after midnight on Wednesday, the House Rules Committee quietly stripped Rep. Barbara Lee's (D-CA) amendment that would repeal the 2001 Authorized Use of Military Force from a defense spending bill the House is expected to vote on shortly. Lee took to Twitter to express her frustration and the placed blame on House Speaker Paul Ryan. She tweeted, "Ryan stripped my 01 AUMF repeal amdt from DOD Approps in the dead of night. This is underhanded & undemocratic. The people deserve a debate!"… Continue Reading

Barbara Lee fights for new debate over war on terror as House leadership stonewalls

July 14, 2017

by Casey Tolan

Rep. Barbara Lee last month reached a major milestone in her 16-year fight to repeal a key authorization for the war on terror when a congressional committee unexpectedly approved her amendment to repeal it. But now the leadership in the House of Representatives is stonewalling the amendment, which might not make it to the House floor for a debate, Lee said in an interview Friday. Lee met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and other senior members of Congress this week to make her case, but didn't h… Continue Reading

Ryan tries to control growing movement to re-open war debate

July 12, 2017

by Austin Wright

House Speaker Paul Ryan met with anti-war Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee on Wednesday as he sought to take control of growing bipartisan demands for a new debate on the 16-year-old military fight against terrorism. Ryan and Lee had a "robust discussion" on the House floor about an amendment she pushed through the House Appropriations Committee last month that would repeal Congress' 2001 authorization for force against groups like Al Qaeda, Lee spokesman Christopher Huntley said. That vote was a s… Continue Reading

Paul Ryan, Barbara Lee meet on war authorization

July 12, 2017

by Ellen Mitchell

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) met Wednesday afternoon to hash out a possible new war authorization to replace a 2001 law that gives the president power to wage war on terrorist groups in the Middle East. Lee's office confirmed to The Hill that the two met on the House floor to discuss Lee's amendment introduced late last month which would repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and force Congress to vote on a new bill. Lee offered the a… Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee’s lonely voice gets deserved company

June 30, 2017

by SF Chronicle Editorial Board

Rep. Barbara Lee's voice has been in the wilderness so long that she seemed as surprised as anyone to hear a response. "Whoa," she tweeted when a congressional committee passed her proposed repeal of a war authorization that has been used and abused since Lee was its lone opponent 16 years ago. Passed by the House Appropriations Committee this week with bipartisan support, the East Bay Democrat's repeatedly rejected amendment would end the 2001 authorization of use of military force that effect… Continue Reading

16 Years Ago, Barbara Lee’s Warning Against the AUMF Was Ignored. Nevertheless, She Persisted.

June 30, 2017

by John Nichols

Sixteen years ago, Barbara Lee cast a lonely vote against an ill-defined and open-ended authorization of the use of military force to respond to the September 11, 2001, attacks. The Democratic congresswoman from California warned then that the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists "AUMF" could be used by the Bush-Cheney administration (and by future administrations) to maintain unending warfare without constitutionally adequate approval from Congress. A lot of Amer… Continue Reading

Dem rep: GOP complicit in Trump’s sexism and bigotry if they don’t speak out

June 29, 2017

by Robin Eberhardt

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday said Republicans are giving President Trump a license to continue his "viciously sexist comments" by continuing to support him. Trump earlier Thursday attacked the "Morning Joe" host Mika Brzezinski's appearance, calling her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and saying that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he saw her late last year at his Florida resort. "It's up to everyone to reject this behavior. By not speaking out, my GOP colleagues are complicit … Continue Reading

House panel votes to force new debate on terror war

June 29, 2017

by Bryan Bender & Jennifer Scholtes

Congress may finally be getting fed up with war on autopilot. A powerful House committee voted unexpectedly Thursday to require Congress to debate and approve U.S. military action in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other far-flung countries - in a surprise victory for a longtime Democratic critic of the nearly two-decade-old war on terrorism. The amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee of California - one of countless she has offered in recent years - is only a modest first step in getting Congress to up… Continue Reading

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