Mary Gay Scanlon on War & Peace
Congressional Summary: H.J.Res.37 directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within 30 days unless Congress authorizes a later withdrawal date, issues a declaration of war, or specifically authorizes the use of the Armed Forces. Prohibited activities include providing in-flight fueling for non-U.S. aircraft conducting missions as part of the conflict in Yemen.
Statement in opposition by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN-1): This legislation would hamper the ability of our military commanders to limit terrorist activity in Yemen, and would create a vacuum for Iran to fill. I believe that the withdrawal of our forces from the region should be done in a way that ensures long term security and stability
Statement in support by Rep. Adam David Smith (D-WA-9): The civil war in Yemen has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis with over half of the population facing severe food insecurity and 24 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance. Passage of this resolution in the House sends a clear message to this Administration that Congress does not support de facto support for the Saudi-led coalition in this conflict. The US should be focused on working towards a peaceful resolution to this conflict and taking measures to alleviate the devastating humanitarian situation."
Statement in opposition by Rep. George Holding (R-NC-02): As part of their expansive campaign to destabilize the region, Iran is providing extensive support and aid to the Houthi rebel forces responsible for precipitating this conflict in the first place. Thankfully, Saudi Arabia has stepped up and taken a key leadership role in combating the Iranian-backed rebels. We should be supporting their efforts.
Legislative outcome: House Bill Passed 248-177-6 on rollcall #577. No action in Senate [died in Committee].
Axios.com summary: The House passed a symbolic war powers resolution directing President Trump to halt the use of military force against Iran unless he obtains approval from Congress.
The big picture: A classified briefing on the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani [by the US military] left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence that there was an "imminent" threat from Iran. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) said they will vote in favor of a similar resolution in the Senate [S J Res 68].
What opponents are saying: Former national security adviser and notorious Iran hawk John Bolton tweeted: "The 1973 War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution allocated foreign affairs authority between the President and Congress. The Resolution should be repealed." Pres. Trump quote tweeted Bolton and added: "Smart analysis, I fully agree!"
What supporters are saying: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution, stating on the House floor: "Killing Soleimani was the right decision, but engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation that would block funding for offensive military force against Iran without congressional authorization. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) is also seeking to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used repeatedly to justify war in the Middle East in the wake of 9/11. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001, criticizing it as a "blank check."
Legislative outcome: H Con Res 83 Passed House 224-194-13 on 1/9/20; S J Res 68 passed Senate 55-45-0 on 2/13/20. Vetoed 5/6; Senate veto override failed 5/7/20.
Politico.com in OPPOSITION, 3/25/21: Republicans who opposed repealing the 2002 authorization said that it should be replaced because Iraq is still home to terror groups that threaten the United States. Rep. Michael McCaul called for consultations with first in order to craft a replacement. "Real AUMF reform requires Congress and the administration working together on actual text to replace the aging 2001 and 2002 AUMFs to provide authorities needed to keep the American people, and, most importantly, our deployed troops, safe from terrorists," McCaul said.
Heritage Foundation in SUPPORT (1/6/20): There has been an open and vibrant debate about whether the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS, a terrorist organization that did not even exist when the 2001 statute was passed and has disavowed and formally broken away from al-Qaeda, the group that is covered by the 2001 AUMF. Yet both the Obama and Trump Administrations claim that the 2001 AUMF covers ISIS and associated forces. Congress has shied away from the much-needed debate about whether the 2002 Iraq AUMF is no longer necessary.
Legislative Outcome: Passed House 268-161-2 on H.R.256 on 6/17/2021 (rollcall 172; no vote on S.J.R.10 nor H.R.3261 in 2021)
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Open Seats / Turnovers 2022:
AL-5: Mo Brooks (R) running for AL Senator
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FL-10: Val Demings (D) running for FL Senator
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MD-4: Anthony G. Brown (D) running for attorney general of Maryland
MO-4: Vicky Hartzler (R) running for MO Senator
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NC-11: Madison Cawthorn (R) Incumbent lost renomination
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SC-7: Tom Rice (R) Incumbent lost renomination
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Special Elections 2021:
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LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
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Special Elections 2022:
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CA-22: Connie Conway (R) replaced Devin Nunes on June 7.
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