The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would endorse the use of military force (AUMF), as lawmakers grow concerned about the possibility of war with Iran.
The committee voted along party lines, 30-22, for Rep. Barbara Lee Barbara Jean LeeOvernight Health Care: HHS issues rule requiring drug prices in TV ads | Grassley, Pharmaceutical | Warren to donate money from family behind opioid giant Dem lawmaker shares video of herself dancing to Beyonce for Dance Week Lawmakers renew push to create American Latino Smithsonian museum MORE 's (D-Calif.) Amendment to sunset the AUMF, which has been used as legal justification for military operations against terrorist groups.
Passed days after the Sept. 1
"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 was anywhere in the world at any time, "said Lee, who was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUM when it was passed.
" AUMF as the legal basis to go with Iran, war, again, that Congress has not debated or authorized, ”she added.
She argued that it was given Congress and the Trump administration “plenty of time to vote and debate on a new AUMF.”
The language was offered as tensions between Washington and Tehran having reached a new high in recent weeks, with the accelerated deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group to the region along with a B-52 bomber task force earlier this month.
There was an identical amendment during the last year's markup of the defense appropriation bill, but that one was voted down
The same bill also came up for the spending bill in 2017 and surprisingly, but House leadership later stripped the commission before it came to the floor, arguing that spending bill was not the place to address the issue. ] For years has suffered the charge to replace the 2001 AUMF with one that imposes geographic and time limits and names specific groups it covers.
She argues, in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) should not be covered under the AUMF if the group did not exist when it was passed.
But partisan divisions have upgraded replacement efforts over concerns that they would hinder a president's authority to defend the country.
GOP lawmakers are also concerned with the end of the current authorization without a new one already approved could hamper military operations.
"This amendment would automatically repeal the 2001 AUMF just 240 days after this bill was signed into law. I think of some 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, ”said the Defense subcommittee's ranking member, Rep. Kay Granger Norvell (Kay) Kay GrangerOvernight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after state pulls personnel from Iraq Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | EPA, defining Trump House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill at border border efforts MORE (R-Texas)
Rep. Ken Calvert Kenneth (Ken) Stanton CalvertMORE (R-Calif.), Noted 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. "
" This is a critical step towards our national security that it would be utterly irresponsible and dangerous to repeal the 2001 AUMF until we replace it, "he said.
] Rep. Tom Cole Thomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeConservatives ask White House to abandon Amazon talks about Pentagon contract This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Trump tweets – and Dems pull two bills from floor MORE (R-Okla.), Who supported Lee's amendment in 2017, rose to a "very reluctant opposition" on Tuesday.
"When I supported the amendment two years ago, I did as a flare to sort of get the attention of my leadership and administration that this is an issue, i think, we ought to come back and deal with, ”said Cole. “But I think the appropriate place to deal with it is actually in the Foreign Relations Committee.”
Cole acknowledged that the House Foreign Relations Committee has yet to hold a hearing on the topic, but stressed that the process of an AUMF repeal and replace “needs to start and needs to start with a thorough discussion and debate.”
“After watching this for many years, I understand the frustration. We need to have the solution before we launch ourselves on a path where we don't know where we're going to go. ”