House Committee Approves Revoking 2001 War Authority as Tensions with Iran Rise

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would end the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), as lawmakers grow increasingly concerned over the possibility of war with Iran.

According to The Hill, Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) issued a statement in which she said: “In the last 18 years, it really has become increasingly clear that the AUMF has essentially provided the president, and that’s any president, the authority to wage war anywhere in the world at any time.’’

“It has already been floated as a possibility for using this AUMF as the legal basis to go to war with Iran, a war, again, that Congress has not debated or authorized,’’ added Lee.

On this issue, the Defense subcommittee’s ranking member, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas). Said: “This amendment would automatically repeal the 2001 AUMF just 240 days after this bill was signed into law. I can think of few things more dangerous and ill-conceived than removing a fundamental underpinning for US military operations without having consensus agreement on what is to replace it.’’

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) said that as “imperfect as it may be, the 2001 AUMF is the foundational authority for ongoing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and against ISIS. The fight is so critical to our national security that it would be utterly irresponsible and dangerous to repeal the 2001 AUMF until we replace it.’’

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) opposed Lee’s proposal on Tuesday as he said: “When I supported the amendment two years ago, I did so as a flare to sort of get the attention of my leadership and the administration that this is an issue, I think, we ought to come back and deal with it. But I think the appropriate place to deal with it is actually in the Foreign Relations Committee.’’

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