May 23, 2013

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Responds to President Obama’s Call for AUMF Repeal, Introduces Legislation Creating Greater Oversight of Drones

May 23, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661

Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech focusing on drone warfare and national security. In advance of the speech, Congresswoman Lee introduced related legislation, The Drones Accountability Act. The bill would prohibit the CIA from making lethal drone strikes and require the disclosure of legal opinions and justifications surrounding the drones program.

“Today President Obama took a bold step in calling for 'efforts to refine and ultimately repeal' the AUMF’s  (Authorization for Use of Military Force) mandate.” As the only Member of Congress to oppose the AUMF in 2001, I warned about the state of perpetual war that our nation has now entered into. It’s far past time to repeal this overly broad, blank check for war, and I am encouraged that the President called for it today, which is exactly what my bill, H.R. 198 would do.

 “However, I continue to have grave concerns over the use of lethal drone strikes and the current lack of Congressional involvement and oversight. For the integrity of our Constitution, we must ensure that we have full accountability and sufficient transparency in our nation’s war powers, and I will continue to fight for a full and public debate on this issue, as I call for in my Drones Accountability Act.

“The lethal use of drones is but one example in the disturbing expansion of war powers that have been justified under the AUMF. This includes wire tapping, indefinite detentions at the Guantanamo prison facilities, and the deployment of troops in dozens of countries without sufficient Congressional oversight."


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Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and currently serves as CPC Whip and Chair of the Taskforce on Global Peace and Security.