Foreign Policy for America Statement in Support of H.R. 256

March 25, 2021

Foreign Policy for America Statement in Support of H.R. 256

Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America supports H.R. 256, which was introduced by Representative Barbara Lee and is being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee today. For years, Rep. Lee has been a leader in pushing Congress to take action to address long overused and outdated Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs), and today as her legislation is marked up we want to thank her for her unrelenting efforts to rein in our forever wars, as well as Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks for advancing her legislation.

H.R. 256 would repeal the 2002 AUMF against Iraq, which Congress passed 18 years ago to wage a war to oust Saddam Hussein. That war formally ended nearly a decade ago. Today Iraq is a sovereign country and a close partner of the United States. But the authorization remains and has been misused by presidents of both parties as a blank-check authority without end.

Congress should never again authorize war with no sunset provision, and it is long past time to repeal this blank check authority. Foreign Policy for America also supports the repeal of the 2001 AUMF and its replacement with new time-limited legislation that authorizes the use of military force in specific countries against specifically named terrorist groups and enhances congressional oversight and public transparency.

“This is a rare area of bipartisan consensus today – both across the country and in Washington,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “For 18 years, Congress has abdicated its constitutional role in authorizing and overseeing the use of military force. Americans have spent trillions of dollars, and sent millions of our neighbors and our family members to fight in those wars, pushed more by inertia than strategy. And what have these wars achieved? This is the year when it should finally stop – when Congress should reclaim its constitutional authority. That starts by repealing the 2002 AUMF. We thank Representative Lee for her longstanding leadership on this issue.”