Statement: House Takes Critical Step to Rein in Endless War. Senate Must Follow Suit.
WASHINGTON — Win Without War Senior Washington Director Erica Fein released the following statement regarding the House’s passage of H.R. 256, Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF):
“Today, the House of Representatives took a critical step toward reining in endless war and finally ending a war authorization that never should have existed in the first place.
“For nearly two decades, the 2002 AUMF has been twisted beyond its original purpose to justify endless war in multiple countries. Congress has repeatedly squandered opportunities to take this authorization off the books, leaving the door open to yet more disaster. This includes Donald Trump dubiously invoking the law to legitimize the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, which almost led to all-out war.
“For too long, most members of Congress have shirked their constitutional obligation to decide whether and where our nation goes to war. That an 18-year-old authorization for a war that officially ended 10 years ago remains on the books today perfectly symbolizes that inaction. Rep. Barbara Lee has been steadfast in demanding an end to this inaction. We commend her and all of the Representatives who voted today to get this old authorization off the books.
“Now, it is time for the Senate to act, so that we get the 2002 AUMF repeal to President Biden’s desk. We are grateful that Majority Leader Schumer has committed to taking this on later this year and that President Biden supports it.
“Repealing the 2002 AUMF would be a critical start to war powers reform, but we must not stop there. We also urge Congress to pass H.R. 255, Rep. Lee’s bill to sunset the 2001 AUMF after eight months, and instead of acting to replace it, to publicly debate whether the U.S. should continue taking a military-first approach to global challenges. It’s time to finally take these shameful blank checks for endless war off the books.”
Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.