The President and the press measure Congressional opposition to the war in Afghanistan every year by one vote. That vote could take place as early as this afternoon, and your Representative needs to hear from you.
Call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 1-888-231-9276 to be connected to your Member of Congress and tell them:
“It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan and prevent the next one. Please support Amendment 55 by Representatives McGovern and Jones and Amendment 50 by Representatives Amash and Lee to the National Defense Authorization Act.”
Today the House of Representatives begins to debate and vote on H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). Two important amendments have been offered that will measure Congressional support for ending the war in Afghanistan and preventing the authorization of endless war:
- Amendment 55 – Sponsored by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC): This bipartisan amendment calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan by requiring the President to provide a plan and timeframe for an accelerated drawdown of military operations in Afghanistan.
- Amendment 50 – Sponsored by Representatives Justin Amash (R-MI) and Barbara Lee (D-CA): This bipartisan amendment would remove a radical new authorization of endless war anywhere in the world.
The media and the President will be using these amendments to gauge Congressional sentiment. Pass or fail, every vote counts in sending a strong message to the President and the media: bring the troops home, now.
Congress is already debating this legislation so please call now toll-free the Capitol Switchboard now at 1-888-231-9276 and ask your Member of Congress to vote yes on Amendments 55 and 50 to H.R. 1540.
A full list of amendments that will be considered to the NDAA is available here. Each amendment will receive 10 minutes of debate on the floor.
Amendment 55 – Sponsored by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC):
This bipartisan amendment is similar to legislation previously introduced by Reps. McGovern and Jones (The Afghanistan Exit and Accountability Act, H.R. 1735) and would call for an end to the war in Afghanistan.
The time is now for Congress to act on this important bipartisan legislation. The President has said that he will begin a substantial drawdown of troops beginning in July. This important legislation will keep him to that promise and help tell the American people when all of our troops will be coming home.
Specifically, the amendment would:
- Require a plan and timeframe on accelerated transition of military operations to Afghan authorities allowing for a drawdown of US troops;
- Require a plan and timeframe on negotiations leading to a political solution and reconciliation in Afghanistan; and
- Require a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on al-Qaeda.
Amendment 50 – Sponsored by Representatives Justin Amash (R-MI) and Barbara Lee (D-CA):
This bipartisan amendment removes the unprecedented expansion of war currently under consideration in Congress. Inserted into the NDAA by Rep. Buck McKeon, Section 1034 cedes unlimited war-making power to the Executive branch and authorizes an open-ended, global war far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, this new authorization is:
- Global in scope. With no geographic boundary, the president could take America to war in any country in the world – including America itself – where a suspected terrorist resides.
- Never ending. This language never expires and doesn’t require the President to return to Congress for additional authority, setting America on the course for decades of war.
- Divorced from national security concerns. Unlike the 2001 authorization that ties the authority to a direct attack on America, this language is not linked to any attack or imminent threat to American citizens.
- A threat to American citizens. This language has no statutory limitation on whether or how it can be invoked domestically or abroad to supersede Constitutional protections of American citizens.