This is Why I Love This Crazy Country
Out of disorder, out of chaos, out of a myriad of reasons from a group as different as todays Republicans AND DEMOCRATS, came the news this week — that 8 months after the President signs the Defense Authorization Bill, he will need a NEW war authority bill in order for our troops to stay in the field.
Wow. This is great news.
I agree with almost all the reasons listed below as to why this is a good idea, I just never, never, thought it would happen.
One surprise after another is tumbling out of Washington and I think most of them are great. I regret that none of this news is making the regular newspapers, which are still consumed with impeaching Trump, but there was an excellent tidbit about this change from The Hill, a great little news source.
Things are changing for the better, and many more surprises are coming, but I am hoping they will be like this one, an organic reaction to a real need rather than the machinations of an organism (the D Party) attempting to enforce a narrative through law and political power.
The Hill — No one was more surprised than Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday when her language revoking the administration’s war authority was unexpectedly backed by Republicans and added to a must-pass defense spending bill.
“Whoa,” Lee wrote on Twitter following a voice vote that pushed through her amendment to sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Lee’s measure, which prompted applause when it was adopted in the House Appropriations defense bill, would revoke the AUMF eight months after the passing of the defense act, forcing Congress to vote on a new law in the interim.
Lee for years has attempted to shutter the law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but this week’s backing reflects shifting politics and unusual bipartisan support.
GOP lawmakers, growing more frustrated with years of unresolved military conflict, are now pushing to create a new war bill specific to current conflicts.
“I feel like my world is rocked because I see these very different opinions and yet I agree with you,” Air Force veteran Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) told Lee during the amendment’s debate.
“My friends in the military now . . .they notice that Congress doesn’t have the guts to stand up and have this debate and give them the authority with their continuing every day,” he added.
So What Changed? The election turned the tide on years of lying and this is another consequence. Back to The Hill.
The Hill — Stewart later told The Hill he has tried in the past to convince fellow Republicans to discuss a new AUMF, and the new shift is likely the result of having a new president in the White House.
“President Obama wasn’t interested in expanding this authority and he wasn’t interested in this debate,” he said. “Many of us believe we have a president that is more likely to help us on this rather than resist.”
The AUMF has been used by the George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations to justify a number of military actions, including the Iraq War and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
While Libertarian outliers including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have pushed for a new war authority – arguing that any president needs Congressional authorization for military action – lawmakers have been stalemated for years amid myriad political and policy divisions.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, argued that the time is now for Congress to debate a new measure.
“We’re at war against an enemy that did not exist in a place that we did not expect to fight. How an AUMF that was passed 16 years ago — before I was in Congress — could possibly be stretched to cover this is just beyond belief to me,” Cole said Thursday during debate.