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Lawmakers take a step toward axing endless war authorization

The Pentagon

by Sam Rolley

The House Appropriations Committee voted this week to include a provision to revoke the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force used to justify rolling U.S. military adventurism in the latest defense spending bill.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), would repeal “the overly broad 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, after a period of 8 months after the enactment of this act, giving the administration and Congress sufficient time to decide what measures should replace it.”

Lee’s effort comes amid growing concern from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over the rubber-stamp nature of the 16-year-old war authorization.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 authorization has been used to justify military action at least 37 times in 14 different countries since it was hastily passed in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

House lawmakers applauded when the Committee opted to include the amendment during a voice vote.

In a statement Lee urged the House Speaker to take up the provision, saying:  “It is far past time for Congress to do its job and for the Speaker to allow a debate and vote on this vital national security issue. I am glad that this amendment passed in a bipartisan manner and I look forward to continuing to work to finally have the debate and vote that our service members and our nation deserves.”

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