May 18, 2016

Nearly 15 Years Later, Congress FINALLY Examines Blank Check for Endless War & Promptly Kicks the Can on ISIL

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement following the House of Representative’s vote (138-285) on her National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and force a debate and vote on an ISIL-specific AUMF:

“I am extremely disappointed that my colleagues left a blank check for endless war on the books. This authorization has been used more than 37 times in 14 countries with little or no oversight from Congress. Are we going to allow another President the same blank check to unilaterally wage perpetual war?

While we were not successful in repealing the 2001 AUMF today, we did force Congress to FINALLY debate – for all of ten minutes – on this nearly 15 year old war authorization.  By failing to pass this amendment, Congress allowed itself to continue abdicating its Constitutional responsibility to debate or vote on an ISIL-specific AUMF.

I hope that today’s short debate and vote jumpstarts the Speaker to act and bring forward a full debate and authorization for the war against ISIL.  We are asking our brave servicemen and women to leave their families and fight another war in the Middle East.  They deserve a Congress with the courage to debate the war that we are asking them to fight.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.