Lawmakers Unsuccessfully Tried to Ban President's 'Signature' Drone Strikes

Failed in committee


Three members of the House Intelligence Committee recently made an unsuccessful attempt to ban so-called 'signature' drone strikes—attacks in which the targets of lethal U.S. actions are identified by their actions rather than as individuals.

However, the author of the intelligence authorization bill amendment that was voted down, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), told POLITICO Sunday that she plans to continue to press for a stop to such strikes because she views them as morally dubious and counterproductive for the U.S.

"I just think it is time for us to consider this kind of perpetual war and also take into account: what's the blowback? What's the negative consequences?" Schakowsky said. "It's a cost-benefit analysis as well, not just a moral question."

Schakowsky's amendment, which failed, 3-17, was discussed in general terms in a House report made public last week. However, the congresswoman gave a bit more detail about the measure Sunday, saying it would only have applied outside declared combat zones. Inside such areas, it is commonplace for military forces to attack suspected enemies without knowing their specific identities.