Veterans group praises Gaetz/Khanna amendment to FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act reasserting Congress’s constitutional role as a co-equal branch in matters of armed conflict
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) commended the House on Friday for passing a measure to ensure military action cannot be taken against Iran without Congressional approval, reasserting Congress’s role in how the U.S. employs its military might.
The provision, a bipartisan amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) introduced by Reps. Khanna (D-Calif.) and Gaetz (R-Fla.), would require congressional authorization for any use of offensive military force against Iran. The amendment would also clarify that neither the 2001 nor 2002 AUMF (which was passed to authorize the original invasion of Iraq in 2003) can be used to justify military action against Iran.
CVA Executive Director, Nate Anderson, had this to say about the amendment’s passage:
“After almost two decades of fighting with no end in sight, Americans are tired of never-ending wars. This amendment begins to reassert Congress’s constitutional role in matters of war and peace. We applaud the leadership from Reps. Gaetz, Khanna, Biggs, Buck, and other members from both parties who courageously took a stand on this critical issue.”
CVA also applauded the inclusion of an amendment offered by Reps. Biggs and Roy mandating the Department of Defense produce a report outlining what our allies are spending on their own defense.
“This amendment is important in understanding what our allies contribute to the common defense so we can make better decisions about our military posture. As the NDAA goes to conference, CVA urges lawmakers to keep these important provisions and we look forward to working with leaders from both parties who stand with us to rethink our foreign policy.”
The bill wasn’t a total win for CVA. Anderson pointed to irresponsible spending practices in the bill and the need for cost-saving measures to promote American safety and prosperity:
“We were disappointed with the high levels of spending included in both the House and Senate bills and the missed opportunities to include commonsense cost-saving measures like authorizing a BRAC round. We need a military that is second to none, but our national debt is a threat to our security, and cost-saving reforms are a critical piece in making our country safer and more prosperous.”
Americans are definitely taking note as some in Washington beat the drum for action in Iran, and joint CVA/VoteVets polling shows solid majorities of voters oppose the U.S. conducting an attack on Iran.
Further CVA polling has shown that veterans and military families in particular are largely opposed to more military engagement around the world, and a plurality think the US should be less engaged.
And a recent Pew Research Center survey of veterans gave some insight into sentiments of our entanglements in Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly two decades following our invasion, showing majorities of U.S. military veterans say those wars were not worth fighting. A parallel survey of American adults finds that the public shares those sentiments.