- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2019

The House voted Friday to repeal the 2002 measure authorizing presidents to respond to the September 11 attacks, an open-ended authority that cleared the way for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has been used by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump to justify missions and deployments around the world over the past 17 years.

California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee’s amendment specified that “any new authorization for the use of military force to replace the 2001 [Authorization for Use of Military Force] should include a sunset clause” that clearly defines its objective.

Lawmakers have long agreed that a new AUMF is necessary and that the 2001 and 2002 versions now in place are hopelessly outdated. However, there is far less of a consensus on what should replace it and how much latitude to give the president.

The House adopted the amendment by a 242-128 margin. It declares that the 2001 AUMF “has been utilized well beyond the scope that Congress intended, that it has served a blank check for any president to wage war at any time and any place.”

The amendment was written as tensions between the U.S. and Iran reached a boiling point and lawmakers feared President Trump could use military force against Tehran without Congress’ approval. Citing his existing authority, Mr. Trump said he ordered a planned retaliatory airstrike on Iran in the wake of the downing of an unmanned American military drone before calling it off at the last moment last month.



The Republican-controlled Senate’s version of the underlying bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, does not contain a similar provision on the AUMF, and the White House is expected to oppose the Lee amendment as well.

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