View Full Version : Jones And Mcgovern Urge Boehner To Take Action On Existing AUMF Request

05-28-2015, 11:07 AM

May 27, 2015

Washington, DC—Yesterday, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-3) sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner urging him to take action on President Obama’s Authorization for the Use of Military Force request released on February 11, 2015 to authorize military operations against the Islamic State (ISIL). Earlier this week, Speaker Boehner said in a news conference that he is asking the president to start over and draft another AUMF.

President Obama started launching airstrikes against ISIL on August 7, 2014, 293 days ago, surpassing the 60-day window the president has to launch an offensive without congressional authorization. Initially, the Obama administration held that the airstrikes were legal under the AUMF President Bush signed into law on September 18, 2001, right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, even though ISIL is a new and distinct threat.

On September 25, 2014, Speaker Boehner told The New York Times that he wanted to wait until 2015 to bring an AUMF to the House floor for a debate and a vote to avoid bringing it up during a lame duck session. On December 6, 2014, Speaker Boehner said that House Republicans would work with the president to get an AUMF request approved if the president sent one to Congress. On February 11, 2015, President Obama sent his AUMF request to Congress. In over three months, the House has failed to act on the president’s request, or any alternative.

“For 14 years, the American people have felt the cost and pain of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have spent over $1.5 trillion and lost over 6,800 brave men and women. ISIL is a new and distinct threat, and the American people expect Congress to meet its constitutional responsibility to have a debate and a vote on whether yet another war is worth the grave cost,” said Congressman Jones. “I urge Speaker Boehner to do his duty as leader of the House of Representatives and take action on the existing AUMF request so that substantive changes can be made and their merit debated in an open fashion on the House floor. We have wasted enough time. Political expediency should never trump a moral and constitutional duty.”

"Congress has a constitutional responsibility to authorize war," Congressman McGovern said. "The wars in Iraq and Syria are intensifying with the United States getting more deeply involved each day. The president has done his job by sending Congress his proposed AUMF. It is now time for Congress to do its job and debate and vote on it."

On February 6, 2015 in anticipation of President Obama sending an AUMF request to Congress, Congressman Jones and Congressman McGovern sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to schedule a full debate on the president’s AUMF request.

On February 23, 2015, Congressman Jones led a coalition urging Speaker Boehner to follow regular order on President Obama’s AUMF request so that the House could make changes to it and have an open debate and a vote on it.

Last September, when the president started conducting airstrikes against ISIS and arming Syrian rebels, Congressman Jones sent a letter to Speaker Boehner asking for a full debate on an authorization for the use of military force in the region.

Last July, Congressman Jones introduced H. Con. Res. 105 to prohibit the deployment of U.S. armed forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without congressional authorization. The resolution passed with 370 votes.

Last August, Congressman Jones, Congressman McGovern, and Congresswoman Lee formed a bipartisan coalition to urge the House Foreign Relations Committee to draft an authorization regarding Iraq and Syria. They also urged Speaker Boehner to bring up the authorization for a debate and a vote before Congress recessed at the end of September.

Read the letter to Boehner asking for action on the existing AUMF by clicking on the link below.