The House Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan amendment rolling back a post-September 11th, 2001 law giving the president broad authority to wage war against terror groups like al Qaeda and its affiliates.
According to The Hill, the amendment passed almost unanimously by voice vote and will be added to the defense spending bill, with the lone member of congress, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), voting against it.
The renewed push to limit executive powers comes as many members of Congress feel frustrated with the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), due to it being used to justify the Iraq War invasion and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The new bill still faces an uphill challenge in the Senate.
— Jennifer Scholtes (@JAscholtes) June 29, 2017
The House Foreign Affairs Committee said the AUMF amendment “should have been ruled out of order” because the Appropriations panel does not have jurisdiction.
“House Rules state that ‘a provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill.’ The Foreign Affairs Committee has sole jurisdiction over Authorizations for the Use of Military Force,” said Cory Fritz, the Foreign Affairs panel’s deputy staff director for communications
Lee also voiced her apprehension over revoking AUMF, stating it will give the Trump administration too much time and leeway to come up with a far more expansive version of the measures.
It would repeal “the overly broad 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, after a period of 8 months after the enactment of this act, giving the administration and Congress sufficient time to decide what measures should replace it,” Lee said.
That would give Congress a narrow window to approve a new AUMF, something lawmakers have balked at due to some wanting to constrain the president’s ability to wage war without Congressional approval, while others wanting to give the executive branch more power to do so.
The AUMF “is necessary to fight the global war on terrorism,” House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) said. “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 … affiliated terrorism. It cripples our ability to conduct counter terrorism operations.”
Featured image: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)