Bipartisan Group Wants Congressional War Votes on ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Yemen

A letter from a bipartisan group of representatives calls on Paul Ryan to schedule votes on AUMF resolutions.



In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and a group of 19 members of Congress from both parties, including Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), urged an immediate vote on authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) against the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, as well as a separate one for participation in Yemen's civil war.

Many of the representatives signing the letter led efforts to get an AUMF vote for the last four years, as they noted. "We believe that the failure of Congress to address these issues with a debate and vote on an AUMF during the final three years of the Obama Administration established a dangerous precedent for the presidency," McGovern wrote in the letter, "one where the President of the United States may deploy or threaten deployment of U.S. troops to any region for any purpose without the consent and explicit authorization of Congress."

The letter specifically expressed alarm about the Pentagon considering deploying ground troops to northern Syria to engage with ISIS. It also brought up the ground operation in Yemen last month, the first in that country since December 2014 and comments President Trump and Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, made about "deploying U.S. troops in Yemen to confront Iranian forces." The state-controlled press in Yemen has accused the Houthi rebels who knocked the U.S.-backed Yemen government out of the capital of Aden of being backed by Iranians, a view the Trump administration appears to support. The letter says Trump and Flynn's comments "added urgency to the need for action on the part of the Congress."

"We urge you to immediately ask President Trump to send to Congress a request for an AUMF that addresses the fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, Iraq, and the surrounding region; and a separate AUMF regarding deployment of U.S. troops in Yemen," McGovern wrote to Ryan. "If these are not immediately forthcoming, we ask that the leadership of the House bring before this body its own draft AUMFs for consideration, debate and a vote."

A number of bills in Congress have attempted unsuccessfully to sunset the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against associated forces responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. McGovern has also tried unsuccessfully to attach amendments to other bills to prohibit U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria without a specific AUMF. President Obama insisted he wanted an AUMF for ISIS, but also that he did not need one for the U.S. to conduct military operations around the world. The Department of Justice has argued that the operations are covered under the 2001 AUMF—ISIS is a successor organization to an Al-Qaeda affiliate. ISIS and Al-Qaeda franchises and allies exist from Nigeria to the Philippines, providing the president wide latitude to commit U.S. military forces around the world.

The original 2001 AUMF was opposed by just one member of Congress, Lee, who warned at the time that the measure amounted to a blank check for open-ended war. There was a separate AUMF passed in 2002 for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but none since then. A new AUMF would invite questions about what precisely a new AUMF would permit the U.S. to do in a war against ISIS or other terror groups around the Muslim world, and why the U.S. was doing it—President Obama and Congress preferred to avoid those questions. Obama became the first president in U.S. history to preside entirely during a time of war. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested a Trump presidency could encourage Congress to reassert its war powers. Trump said in an O'Reilly interview last year he'd be open to asking Congress for an ISIS AUMF. He has not yet done so. McGovern's letter urges Ryan to ask the president to do that.

The McGovern letter was also co-signed by Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Tom Cole (R-Ok.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.).

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  1. A number of bills in Congress have attempted unsuccessfully to sunset the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against associated forces responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    lol. It’s as if they pretend that the ratchet can go in a different direction.

    1. Seems like they would try occasionally to keep us rubes off the scent.

  2. And I’m sure they would all vote against AUMFs against al Qaeda and ISIS if they came to the floor, right?

    1. I don’t think that’s the desire. They want to get rid of the open-ended AUMF and replace it with an updated one, presumably with a sunset clause built in.

      1. Every law passed should have a sunset clause.

        1. Indeed.

          1. What about friggin’ Afghanistan and Stanstanstanstanistan!?!?! Are we going to be there for another 50 years or what? WHERE is Congress, when some-one, somewhere, needs to cut off the GD spending?!?!?

  3. The convergence is nigh. 🙂

    (I am not upset that Rand didn’t join in. Why? Because he has bigger fish to fry. Let him sit this one out – he’s already proven his mettle on this issue.)

    1. Of course, since the signatories are all in the House and he’s in the Senate, I guess that means you keep your crown as chief ignoramus.

    2. It would be highly inappropriate for a Senator to sign a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Go look up the definition of “bicameral legislature” and while you’re at it, have some fucking cake, retard.

  4. The very first thing they need to do is repeal, revoke, or sunset the AUMF Against Terrorists from September 14 of 2001.

    So many terrible things, from mass surveillance and up, are predicated on that awful, awful authorization.

    No new (or denial of authorizations) will do better than sun-setting the old ones.

    1. I say repeal the AUMF and pass a formal declaration of war against __________.

      We have to stop letting our government get away with these conflicts without announcing intent, debating and passing a declaration of war to send troops for more than a few days in combat. It would make these political hacks think twice before Americans die.

  5. So parts of Congress have discovered that the US is involved in several wars!!!!

    What next will there be anti-war protests around the country?

    Well, better late then never.

    1. The fact that he is now banning refugees fleeing the wars will provide the necessary impetus, don’t you worry.

      1. Because nothing makes more sense than taking a mass of refugees from countries that you’re at war with. Like that time tens of thousands of Japanese, German and Italian refugees entered to the United States during World War II

        1. from countries that you’re at war with

          Try reading the article, dumbass.

          1. This is a response to what, exactly?

            1. Holy fuck you’re a dimwit. We’re not at war with those countries – that’s the point of the article – the reason we need a AUMF.

              1. de facto or de jure does not in any way matter to the point laid out in my argument.

                1. THEN GET A AUMF.

                  And if you don’t then patriotic and loyal Americans will come out to the streets by the MILLIONS to protest your immigration ban.

        2. Please don’t feed the vermin. Seriously.
          That pathetic steaming pile of shit is here as an attention whore only; any engagement just gets more stains on any thread.

            1. Yes, I’m right. As usual.

          1. Comparing me to an animal is a Nazi technique intended to dehumanize me. In past generations this would have ended in my being murdered. What will happen in modern times? We shall see:

            1. A mass grave full of daijals is a tempting prospect.

              1. Well hey at least you demonstrate how these things happened in the past. Of course, I don’t in any way suggest your killing. Quite the reverse – I simply ask you to repent. And if you don’t? OK, sometimes people have to learn the hard way. And until then I’ll gladly defend your right to be an idiot. Though I wouldn’t mind if you did it over with your butt buddies at glib. 🙂

                1. Thankfully no ethnic group on the planet is nearly as insufferable as you. So unless daijal clones start running around trolling the world, you can rest easy knowing that my final solution for your kind will never come to pass.

                  1. I take no consolation in the fact there are no more of me for you to kill. And now would be a great time for someone else to stand up to this vicious bully:

              2. Please do not feed it. It’s spreads disease and we’d rather it go elsewhere to die.
                PLEASE don’t feed it.

                1. And this one too. You can do it:

    2. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Obama stopped all the wars, that’s why they gave him a Nobel Peace Prize.

      1. Yes there were the Bush Wars and then eight years of the Obama Peace and now we have the Trump Wars

  6. Obama became the first president in U.S. history to preside entirely during a time of war.

    What, did we suspend the War on Drugs at some point during Nixon’s, Ford’s, Carter’s, Reagan’s, Bush’s, Clinton’s, and the other Bush’s administration? The War on Drugs is a very real war – the government gets a lot more slack on the Constitutional-infringement chains during wartime that they wouldn’t get in peacetime. The fate of the nation being at stake and the Constitution not being a suicide pact and all that. It’s not just “the moral equivalent of war”, it’s a real damn war where select parts of the Bill of Rights don’t apply because drugs are bad, m’kay? There’s a very real army of druglords invading our country and until the enemy is defeated we don’t have time to play nice with all this Fourth Amendment and due process and fair trial crap. Enemy invaders don’t get treated like mere criminals in wartime, folks.

    And let’s not mention the War on Poverty – looking at the numbers the last 50 years, poverty’s winning that war and it ain’t even close, we’re getting our asses slaughtered in that one. We’ve spent trillions of dollars and poverty’s twice as bad as it was 50 years ago.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by poverty being “twice as bad” as it was in 1967, but the percentage of the population in poverty is pretty consistent over that period.

      1. Plus now they have iPhones.

      2. He must be talking about weight, since obesity wasn’t a big deal among poor people in 1967.

    2. Not sure I’m in complete agreement re WoD, but it certainly has staying power:

      “Report: Photos appear to show cartel members readying for war in post-‘El Chapo’ power struggle”
      “New photos out of Mexico purportedly show cartel members gearing up for war now that Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been extradited to the U.S. and is fully out of the picture.”…..935251.php


  8. We’re safe now daddy. We don’t need your ‘protection’ any more. 🙂

  9. This is a good thing, don’t misunderstand.

    But every one of those Team-D tards that sat on their hands the last 8 years should have to sign a letter of apology to be read into the record before this comes up for a vote.

    If you were in town when we went off to overthrow the governments of Libya and Syria without so much as a peep from congress, leaving the opposition to a handful of kooks on the libertarian right, you should hang your head in shame and do a public mea culpa before getting your “responsible government” card back.

    The republicans at least have the excuse that they are always in favor of dropping bombs somewhere.

    1. But every one of those Team-D tards that sat on their hands the last 8 years should have to sign a letter of apology to be read into the record before this comes up for a vote.

      Excellent point. Where were these dopes years ago? This is one of the more maddening aspects of the Trump presidency: People doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. It just means they’ll go right back to the wrong things as soon as their guy is back in charge.

      1. Of course, just like always. Take what you can, push for more, be ready to resist when the pendulum swings back. That is the way of the libertarian, and always will be.

        1. But what about Libertopia??? I keep hearing that we’re on the cusp of the great Libertarian revolution. It’s right around the corner. Any minute now…

      2. To her credit, Barbara Lee has been beating this drum constantly since 2001, even when it put her against President Obama.

  10. In past generations I would have been murdered a long time ago. I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to safely speak the truth – and yes I credit the brave Americans who fought and died for my right to do so.

  11. Many people think the bully is the one who causes the damage. This is a dangerous misconception – it’s the fact that everyone else stands around and says nothing. This betrayal is what causes the pain and injury. I would like to point out further that none of you ever stands up for me when I am attacked even as I stand up for you – and that (for possibly the first time in history) it doesn’t even matter!

  12. Calling me ‘vermin’ or ‘it’ is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Yet I am threatened with being BANNED for pointing this out?? Seriously you people make me sick. (That’s ok I still love you. 🙂

  13. When your ‘best laid plans’ suddenly require you to destroy your own APOTHEOSES – you might want to take a step back. Just sayin’.

  14. This is just more hypocrisy from Democrats that never ever opposed Obama’s drone program. If you didn’t oppose every single military campaign under Obama you’re a rank hypocrite for opposing one now.

  15. A declaration of war comes with problems much like a Treaty with Iran will become someone has to enforce these treaties and wars. I want the AUMF dissolved and a real discussion about wether we need to be in the middle east at all.We have all the oil we need so thats not an issue. We were originally there to keep the Russians form getting the oil but they have plenty now so that not an issue so we have no need to be there other than to nuke the whole place when they nuke Israel.

  16. Bentley . true that Ashley `s blurb is good… last week I got Lotus Esprit sincere getting a check for $5815 this-last/five weeks and-even more than, ten/k lass-month . without a doubt it is the easiest work I’ve ever done . I began this seven months/ago and almost immediately started earning minimum $77… per-hour . more tips here.

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