The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to finally end a war authorization from 2002 in an attempt to reign President Donald Trump in as tensions with Iran increase.
“Congress has a responsibility to do their job and follow the Constitution and debate and vote on the use of the force in matters of war and peace,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who added that this law “allows war without end — this country can’t tolerate that.”
“The need to hold this president in check has never been higher,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). “The worst thing we could do is let this president off the hook.”
The Democrats are trying to rebuke President Trump but this legislation would end a power that was used by his previous two predecessors to justify war in the Middle East as well. It would amount a significant check against endless wars that have grown unpopular with the American public, which is why it attracted some Republican support in Congress as well.
House Freedom Caucus members Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Ken Buck (R-CO) penned an op/ed urging for their colleagues to support the measure and restore war-making authority to its Constitutional bounds.
“This airstrike was fully justified by Article II of the Constitution, which grants the president, in his role as “Commander in Chief,” the authority to respond to imminent threats,” Buck and Biggs wrote, defending President Trump’s controversial assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani via drone strike at a Baghdad airport last month.
“Additionally, the president’s action can be justified by an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) granted by Congress in 2002 – but Congress must now revisit and reform this nearly twenty-year-old AUMF, as well as a second anti-terrorism AUMF dating to 2001,” they added.
They argue for a new and improved AUMF that doesn’t give the President an open-ended mandate to conduct war in the Middle East at his own discretion without any input from Congress.
“In the coming weeks, we will be spearheading this effort by introducing a more clearly-defined AUMF that includes mechanisms to combat terrorism, a guarantee that Israel will be defended, and a limited time horizon to ensure continual congressional oversight,” the House Freedom Caucus members wrote.
“Trump wants to move away from the tired foreign policy paradigms of the past, and we intend to help him achieve this aim,” they added.
Unfortunately for the bipartisan opponents of endless war, President Trump has threatened to veto the measure if it passes the Senate.