On March 13, a diverse group of 42 organizations from across the political spectrum sent a letter to Chairman Elliot Engel (NY-16) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urging them to bring up Rep. Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) legislation to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force for prompt consideration in Committee. (Download the letter).
Dear Chairman Engel and Ranking Member McCaul:
We, the undersigned, are a diverse group of organizations with a range of missions and perspectives from across the ideological spectrum. We share a common view that the Executive Branch has expanded its interpretation of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) (PL 107-40) far beyond Congress’s original intent, in order to justify an ever-increasing number of military operations around the world. We therefore write to express our support for H.R.1274, which would repeal the 2001 AUMF eight months after enactment, and to ask that the Foreign Affairs Committee bring the bill up for prompt consideration.
The Framers of the Constitution, recognizing the Executive Branch’s inclination to war, wisely and deliberately assigned to Congress the power to decide whether, when, and where the United States goes to war. As James Madison wrote, “The constitution supposes, what the History of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has, accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.”