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Thursday, July 13, 2017

No surprise here: Speaker Paul Ryan not likely to accept Barbara Lee's AUMF repeal amendment

Rep. Barbara Lee's famous Sept. 2001 speech
opposing authorization for war in 
Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks.
13TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
The powerful House Appropriations Committee offered a sympathetic ear two weeks ago to Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to a defense budget bill that would repeal authorization of military force used for the 16-year war in the Middle East.

Lee was so surprised by the Republican-led committee's vote in support of the amendment that she tweeted a celebratory "whoa."

The East Bay representative was the only member of Congress to vote against the authorization, a vote that attracted scorn from around the country, but ultimately proved insightful after the war become difficult and intensely unpopular.

But Lee's joy appears to have been dampened Wednesday following a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“Earlier today, I met with Speaker Ryan to discuss my amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the Defense Appropriations bill. In our meeting, I urged Speaker Ryan to listen to the voices on both sides of the aisle urging a debate and vote on our ongoing wars," said Lee.

“Unfortunately, the Speaker did not commit to preserving this amendment in the Rules Committee. It would be a mistake–and frankly an abdication of congressional responsibility–to kill this important, bipartisan amendment."

In urging for a vote on the amendment, Lee added that American troops have fought bravely in combat for 16 years and deserve a vote on this issue.

“The inclusion of the 2001 AUMF repeal in the Defense Appropriations bill is the closest we’ve come to requiring a vote on ongoing military action," said Lee. "Eliminating this amendment behind closed doors would be undemocratic and further undermine our constitutional obligation on matters of war and peace.”

Politico reported that Ryan may be angling to strip the AUMF repeal amendment from the defense bill and replace it with Republican plan backed by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

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