Congresswoman Lee has spent her career advocating for a safer, more peaceful world.
Congresswoman Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on September 14th, 2001. In the ensuing years, she has led Congressional efforts to repeal this blank check for endless war.
In October 2002, Congresswoman Lee offered a substitute amendment to the Iraq AUMF that would have provided an alternative to the Iraq War. Her amendment required the president to work with the UN to ensure Iraq was not making weapons of mass destruction and to resume negotiations with Iraq.
In 2004, Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus stood united in introducing H.Con.Res. 467, declaring genocide was occurring in Darfur, Sudan. In May 2006, she was arrested for civil disobedience outside the Sudanese Embassy protesting the horrors in Darfur. She later traveled to the region and worked to pass the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which was signed into law in October 2006.
In 2005, Congresswoman Lee, joined Congresswoman Waters and Congresswoman Woolsey in establishing the Out of Iraq Caucus.
In 2006, Congresswoman Lee’s amendment - which banned permanent U.S. military bases from being established in Iraq - passed the House of Representatives and was included in the funding bill signed into law. She later expanded on this work to include a prohibition on funding for permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan and has worked to ensure these provisions are signed into law annually.
During the War
During the Iraq War, Congresswoman Lee annually offered the “Lee Amendment” to limit war funding to the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors in Iraq. Her amendments and corresponding legislation continued to gain support throughout the war. She also authored legislation and amendments to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF.
Efforts to End the War
Congresswoman Lee has authored legislation to end the war in Afghanistan and has consistently offered the “Lee Amendment” to limit war funding in Afghanistan and mandate the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors.
Congresswoman Lee built a bipartisan coalition to vocally oppose military intervention in Libya in 2011. Along with Representatives Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, Congresswoman Lee led congressional efforts to limit U.S. military involvement in the country.
Following the devastating 2010 Haitian earthquake, Congresswoman Lee spearheaded congressional recovery and relief efforts. In 2014, Congresswoman Lee’s legislation, the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act, was signed into law by President Obama. This law has provided greater transparency and accountability in USAID recovery efforts in Haiti.
Congresswoman Lee was instrumental in laying the ground work for the 2014 normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. In 2015, Congresswoman Lee accompanied President Obama on his historic trip to Havana. She remains a vocal advocate for ending the travel and trade restrictions with Cuba and is Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Cuba Working Group.
Service at the United Nations
Congresswoman Lee has served as the U.S. Congressional Representative to the United Nations General Assembly three times, in 2013, 2015 and 2017. In this capacity, she has advocated for gender equality, greater investments in HIV/AIDS initiatives, and addressing racial inequalities and injustices.
Lee Defense Amendment #1
In April 2017, Congresswoman Lee offered an Amendment to the Defense Appropriations FY18 Bill to sunset the 2001 AUMF. Her amendment passed the Committee with bipartisan support. This amendment was later removed by Republican congressional leadership.