The House Appropriations Committee made a shocking move today when it accepted an amendment that would limit the President ability to deploy troops to fight ISIS. The move was led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif). The amendment would force Congress to vote on new authorization to fight the Islamic State. Politico reports:
The amendment, which passed by voice vote, would repeal within 240 days of the enactment of appropriations for fiscal year 2018 the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force that was passed by Congress shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.
Three presidential administrations have used the 2001 AUMF as the legal basis to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
“The last 16 years, it has become increasingly clear that this AUMF has essentially provided the president, any president, the authority to wage war in perpetuity,” said Lee, who has pushed unsuccessfully for years for Congress to take a more active role in debating military operations overseas.
Only Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, spoke in opposition to the amendment, which she argued would cripple the military’s ability to conduct counterterrorism operations.
“The amendment is a deal-breaker and would tie the hands of the U.S. to act unilaterally or with partner nations with regard to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists,” Granger said.
This bill would limit the President’s power but also put members of Congress on record so that their constituents would exactly what they support and how they have voted.
Would you prefer Congress to vote more on military action? Or would you prefer that power to remain with the President?