House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization

House to debate repealing 2001 war authorization
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The House on Wednesday will debate repealing a 2001 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) that the administration is using to battle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHundreds gather at historic Tulsa church to dedicate prayer wall on anniversary of massacre Overnight Defense: Pentagon pitches 5B budget | Kamala Harris addresses US Naval Academy graduates Pentagon pitches 5B budget with cuts to older weapons MORE (D-Calif.), would take effect 90 days after the defense bill is passed and force the administration to seek new authority from Congress to wage its military campaign against ISIS. 


“Today, the House will have an opportunity to debate and repeal the nearly 15-year-old blank check for endless war passed in 2001,” Lee said in a statement to The Hill.

“This amendment will force Congress to finally do its job and debate and vote on an ISIL-specific authorization within 90 days of enactment," she added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist organization. 

There are currently more than 4,087 U.S. troops authorized for Iraq and 300 for Syria. The U.S. is also conducting airstrikes against the terrorist group in both places. The White House has asserted it already has the authority it needs under the 2001 AUMF, although it sent over a draft authorization last February.

That proposal was panned by Democrats who believed it was too vague, and by Republicans who believed it was too restrictive. Lawmakers on both sides are also leery of going on record to support a new war, given politically costly votes on the 2003 Iraq War. 

Lee's amendment is being debated as part of the House's consideration of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, an annual defense policy bill that authorizes Pentagon activities and spending. 

The House will consider 119 other amendments to the defense bill as well.