May 15, 2018

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Walter Jones Outline Bipartisan AUMF Principles

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the Senate mark-up of the Corker-Kaine war authorization (S.J.Res. 59), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) sent a bipartisan letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee outlining tailored principles for inclusion in any new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The letter, which was signed by a bipartisan coalition of 49 Members of Congress, condemned the overly broad Corker-Kaine AUMF and urged consideration of an AUMF that is “specific, tailored, limited and clear.”

“The Senate needs to go back to the drawing board,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “While I support a robust debate on any new AUMF, I fear that the Corker-Kaine proposal would further limit congressional oversight of our perpetual wars. Replacing one blank check with another even broader one is a recipe for disaster. I urge the Senate to use the bipartisan principles outlined in our letter to craft an AUMF that restores congressional oversight and prevents further military entanglements.”

“It’s time that Congress reclaims its constitutional duty of debating and declaring war,” said Congressman Jones. “Unfortunately, I fear the Corker-Kaine proposal would push that responsibility further towards the Executive Branch, and lead the United States into unlimited and unchecked military action.”

In the letter, the members outlined four principles necessary in any new military authorization:

  • Sunset clause/reauthorization
  • Repeals the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs
  • Mission-specific
  • Transparency and accountability

The full letter is available here.