House appropriations bill includes amendment repealing 2001 war authorization

The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved an article repealing the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) added to the 2018 defense spending bill Thursday.

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the lone House dissenter against the 2001 authorization to use military force in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“At long last, I am pleased that my Democratic and Republican colleagues supported my effort to put an end to the overly broad blank check for war that is the 2001 AUMF,” Lee said in a statement Thursday.

Under Lee’s amendment, the 2001 AUMF would be repealed, effective 240 days following the Appropriations Act’s passage, and would force debate on any attempt to deploy troops.

Ms. Lee’s 2016 attempt to amend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with similar language was defeated in May of that year.  Lee has repeatedly offered nearly-identical amendments since the original authorization empowering President Bush to pursue military action in 2001.

Lee has consistently argued to extend military action, Congress should be consulted by the White House and additional authorizations require the deployment of U.S. troops abroad.

Despite repeated setbacks to introduce this amendment, Lee was joined by unlikely allies, Reps. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

“We’ve had leadership honestly on both sides that have put off this debate again and again and again.  If we’re going to send people to war, we owe them the support of the Congress of the United States,” Cole said in support of Lee’s amendment.

U.S. troops have been deployed 30 times under the 2001 AUMF umbrella.

 

[AP] [Los Angeles Times] [Voice of America] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via CNBC]