Progressive lawmakers on Tuesday welcomed the announcement by House Democratic leadership that the chamber will take up two measures later this month to rein in the White House march to war with Iran.
One of the efforts is Rep. Barbara Lee's (D-Calif.) proposal to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The other is Rep. Ro Khanna's legislation to bar Pentagon funding for "military force in or against Iran" without congressional approval. The pair of bills, said the Congressional Progressive Caucus, represents "our best chance to avoid future conflict."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House would take up the bills the week of January 27, a development advocacy group Win Without War called "huge" and Lee deemed a chance to "stop endless war."
For far too long, Congress has been missing in action on war and peace. It's time to reassert our Constitutional authority on the use of force, repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF, and #StopEndlessWar! Thank you @SpeakerPelosi and @LeaderHoyer for bringing my bipartisan bill for a vote. https://t.co/PEOhkhJAtJ— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 14, 2020
"Leaving this outdated AUMF on the books, which has been used to justify the use of force throughout the world, is not only dangerous but irresponsible," Lee added in statement.
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“I strongly support both of these bills, which will reassert Congress's constitutional authority in questions of war and peace and sending American forces into harm's way," Hoyer said. "I am particularly concerned about this administration's mischaracterization and misuse of the 2002 AUMF as legal justification for the recent strike in Iraq. It's time to repeal this measure."
Khanna, in a statement, also welcomed the news and said, "The future of American foreign policy cannot continue to emphasize military interventionism."
The future of American foreign policy isn’t military interventionism: it’s diplomacy and open communication.— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) January 14, 2020
War should always be a last resort.
Thank you @SpeakerPelosi and @LeaderHoyer for bringing our bill to stop a war with Iran to the floor for a vote. https://t.co/8q5FoAQc0j
The need for the House to vote on both measures, said Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), is critical.
"As we have learned more about the airstrikes, it's become even more apparent that the White House manufactured reasons to drag us into a completely avoidable military escalation. Unless Congress acts, there's nothing to stop President Trump from doing the same thing in the future," said Pocan and Jayapal. "The Lee and Khanna bills are our best chance of preventing an avoidable future conflict with Iran, and we’re pleased that they will come to the floor before the end of the month."