Fifteen years ago – just three days after the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks – Congress quickly began discussing whether or not the president should be able to take military action against any country or person connected to the attacks without additional congressional approval.
The debate was brief, and the House passed the 60-word authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) with a 420-1 vote.
The only “no” vote came from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and this year marks the 15th anniversary of her outstanding position against what she calls “ a blank check to an endless war.”
“In the 15 years since its passage, we’ve seen this authorization used to justify unchecked military action around the world,” Lee said in a statement, referring to a report that shows authorization that has been used to justify 37 military actions in 14 countries.
“This is simply unacceptable…we have neglected our responsibility to debate the costs and consequences of war for the last 15 years,” Lee said.
Lee, who represents California’s 13th congressional district, introduced H.R. 1303 to repeal the 2001 AUMF.