June 13, 2018

Rep. Barbara Lee Slams GOP Flip-Flop on 2001 AUMF Amendment

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s amendment to sunset the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force was defeated on a party-line vote in the House Appropriations Committee. The amendment would have sunset the 2001 AUMF eight months after the bill’s enactment, giving Congress plenty of time to debate and vote on a new authorization. Last year, Congresswoman Lee offered an identical amendment that was adopted with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues reversed their position on this vital national security issue. Last year, members of both parties agreed that the time had come to sunset the overly broad 2001 AUMF and finally debate the costs and consequences of our perpetual wars,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “It is clear from today’s vote that Speaker Ryan and Republican leadership will stop at nothing to prevent this debate from moving forward. Just like last year, when he undemocratically stripped my bipartisan amendment from the bill, Speaker Ryan is ignoring his constitutional duty and denying our brave service members an honest reckoning on our military operations.”

“American families deserve better,” added Congresswoman Lee. “The 2001 AUMF is a blank check for any president to wage war, anywhere in the world, in perpetuity. My amendment would have given Congress eight months to pass a new authorization – ample time to hold this critical debate and vote. Given that only 20 percent of the current membership of the House of Representatives were serving in Congress when the 2001 AUMF passed, we owe it to our troops to revisit this issue. It’s past time to hold this long-overdue debate, get this open-ended authorization off the books, and restore congressional checks on war making.”

The vote was 22 to 30. Last year, the Appropriations Committee approved the amendment in a voice vote.