June 19, 2019

Congresswoman Lee Applauds House Passage of her Provision to Sunset the 2001 Military Authorization

Washington D.C. -- In response to the inclusion and passage of her language to sunset the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) in H.R. 2470, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act (LHHS) for the fiscal year 2020, House Appropriations Committee Member Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) issued the following statement:    

“My amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF was included in the passage of HR 2470, which will sunset the 2001 AUMF after eight months, giving Congress and the Executive Branch plenty of time to debate and vote on a new AUMF once signed by the Executive.

“Two years ago, this same amendment was passed out of the Appropriations Committee on a bipartisan basis but was undemocratically stripped out by House Speaker Paul Ryan. The passage of this spending bill with the 2001 AUMF repeal included is a historic and timely step forward in reasserting Congress’ constitutional authority on matters of war and peace.

“With the Administration continuing to dangerously escalate tensions with Iran and publicly floating utilizing the 2001 AUMF as a legal basis for military action against Iran, this vote sends an important signal to the Administration that it cannot take military action against Iran without prior Congressional approval. This is a stark reminder of the dangers of leaving this overly broad authorization on the books. 

“Congress has been missing in action for too long. The 2001 AUMF has been cited as the legal justification for military action 41 times in 18 countries – and those are only the unclassified instances. We cannot afford to let the Trump Administration utilize this blank check for endless war as the legal basis for a disastrous war with Iran. 

“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to make clear that the 2001 AUMF does not apply to Iran and that the Administration must come to Congress to seek express congressional approval for any military action against Iran.  

“As the only Member of Congress to vote against the 2001 AUMF, I am pleased with the inclusion and passage of my amendment which has been an issue I have been advocating to repeal for more than a decade.”