Lawmakers reject 'legal end' to Iraq war

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday batted down two pieces of legislation on authorizations for use of military force (AUMF), including one that tried to end the authority in Iraq years after the last U.S. troops returned.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) offered the measures as amendments to $491 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2015.

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The first sought to prohibit funds for the authorization for the AUMF in Iraq that lawmakers approved in 2002. Lee argued that it was time to bring the war in Iraq to “an official, legal end.”

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J), chair of the panel’s Defense subcommittee, opposed the amendment, noting that U.S. troops left in 2011. He added that there were no funds in spending plan related to Iraq.

The amendment was defeated 31-17.

The second, also offered by Lee, would have required the administration to submit reports to Congress on activities carried out under the AUMF against those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The California Democrat said the authorization was no longer necessary, 13 years later.

Frelinghuysen again rose in opposition, saying such reports could contain claissfied information and provide U.S. enemies a “road map” into military and intelligence activities.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who sought to sunset the AUMF in the 2015 authorization bill last month, said the authority was being used in ways “never foreseen in the past.”

That amendment was defeated as well, 27-21.