June 20, 2014

Congresswoman Lee Fights to Stop Endless War

For Immediate Release:
June 20th, 2014
Contact: James Lewis, (202) 225-1882

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issues statement  following final passage of the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 4870).  All four of Congresswoman Lee’s  amendments were voted down.   H.R. 4870 has passed with a final vote count of 340 no yes votes  and  73 no votes.  Congresswoman Lee  against  the final bill.

“Despite support from the American people to end our nation’s perpetual state of war, Congress has not repealed the multiple Authorizations for Use of Military Force that have created the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan and amounts to blank check for endless war,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Congresswoman Lee offered four amendments to the Appropriations bill to end the culture of endless war.  

No funding for combat operations in Iraq (Rejected 165 – 250)

“President Obama has told the American people there is no military solution in Iraq and he’s right,” stated Congresswoman Lee. “The situation in Iraq requires a political solution that builds a State representative and respectful of the rights for all citizens. It’s an Iraqi crisis that must be solved by Iraqis, not foreign militaries.”

The most recent polling by Public Policy Polling found seventy-four percent of the American voters oppose military action in Iraq while only sixteen percent support action.  Congressmen Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rick Nolan (D-NM) co-sponsored this measure.

No funding for 2002 Iraq AUMF (Rejected 182 – 231)

The amendment would have prohibited funding for the use of force pursuant to the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq.

“An AUMF is a powerful statement from Congress that it’s the will and in the interest of the American people to use force in a foreign country.  These types of powerful action cannot remain into perpetuity,” said Congresswoman Lee. “The American people deserve a voice on whether or not American military force is used in Iraq. Congress cannot continue to offer blank checks for force while the American people have continued to express their desire for peace.”

No funding for 2001 AUMF (Rejected 157 – 260)

“In failing to approve this measure, Congress has ignored its Constitutional duty to debate and give the American people a voice on matters of war and peace,” said Congresswoman Lee. “It’s time to repeal this dangerous measure that amounts to a blank check for an endless state of war.  It seems Congress has no intention of re-assuming its Constitutional responsibility to maintain U.S. national security and advance U.S. foreign policy interests.”

Congresswoman Lee was the only Member of Congress to vote against this blank check for perpetual war in 2001.  Since, Members from both parties have joined the effort to repeal the AUMF. Congressmen Paul Broun (R-GA) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) co-sponsored the measure.

No funding for combat operations in Afghanistan (Rejected 153 – 260) 

In coordination with President Obama’s leadership and promise to bring America’s servicemen and women home by the end of 2014, this amendment would have provide Congressional consent by restrict funding beyond that date.

“It is clear to all that Congress must debate and approve any extension of military operations in Afghanistan beyond December 2014. After more than a decade of war, they have promised to bring our brave servicemen and women home,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Congress should have made that same promise and restricted future funding for war beyond the end of 2014.”

Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Jim McGovern (D-WA) co-sponsored the measure.


Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter at @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov.

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, as well as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the CPC Peace and Security Task Force.