Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

Members of Congress Call for a Debate and Vote on Ongoing Wars

WASHINGTON -

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Justin Amash, in conjunction with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and House Liberty Caucus, hosted a bipartisan ad-hoc hearing on the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). At the hearing, experts joined Members of Congress to discuss the implications of the open-ended 2001 AUMF and proposed frameworks for an updated war authorization. 

“Today’s critical hearing showed that a growing, bipartisan group of Members are calling for a debate and vote on our ongoing wars. We are saying that enough is enough. The 2001 AUMF is a blank check for war – plain and simple. For far too long, our brave service members have risked their lives around the world, while Congress has failed to even debate these military operations,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Every day that Congress delays, we become further entangled in these conflicts. We owe it to our men and women in uniform to hold a debate on these endless wars.”

"The Constitution vests the power to declare war in the legislative branch," said Congressman Amash. "It wasn’t a decision made lightly. Though modern presidents like to ignore this point, the Framers were quite clear that the president isn’t to decide when or why we go to war. As commander in chief, the president directs the war once it’s authorized, but Congress must authorize it."

More than 100 members of Congress, including 96 Democrats and 10 Republicans, also signed onto a letter to Speaker Ryan urging him to allow an AUMF debate and vote on the House Floor. As the letter to Speaker Ryan notes, “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson voiced his intention to commit U.S. troops to an indefinite military presence in Syria.” The Members of Congress added, “We believe the President must present a strategy and seek the approval of Congress before any additional military action is taken against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, other nations’ military forces, or other non-State actors. If the President will not send an AUMF we ask that you bring forward an AUMF for consideration for a debate and vote.” 

The letter to Speaker Ryan is available here. To watch a livestream of today’s hearing, click here.

###

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat, represents the 13th District in California.

Pelosi and Hoyer to Progressives: Just Pretend Democrats Are Winning (Even If Corporate Lobbyists Are)

"If we don't act like we are winning, the American people won't believe it either," advised House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Jon Queally ·


Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo