Grassroots veterans group applauds Rep. Lee, bipartisan leadership on critical measure to restore balance of power
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Nate Anderson released the following statement urging the U.S. House to pass H.R. 256, Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF):
“Debating, authorizing, and exercising oversight of American military action abroad is one of Congress’s most solemn duties. Unfortunately, Congress has largely deferred to the executive branch and neglected its role in matters of war and peace over the last twenty years. Repealing the 2002 AUMF would be an important step toward Congress reasserting its constitutional role in shaping foreign policy and giving the American people a voice. We applaud Rep. Lee for her continued leadership on this issue along with the broad coalition of bipartisan representatives and organizations who have found common ground in this endeavor.”
Americans for Prosperity, a partner of CVA, issued a Key Vote Alert for this measure, signaling it will take into account lawmakers’ votes in its annual legislative scorecard.
CVA recently led a coalition in sending a letter to members of Congress urging support of a bipartisan resolution introduced by Sens. Kaine and Young to repeal a pair of obsolete AUMFs. The group was joined on the letter by Defense Priorities Initiative, FreedomWorks, and the R Street institute.
CVA has been working to repeal the outdated 2001 and 2002 AUMFs for years, making it a priority for its grassroots and advocacy efforts in its annual policy agendas (2019, 2020, 2021). Notably, though less than a fifth of current members of Congress voted on the 2001 AUMF, it has been invoked to justify 41 operations in 19 countries since passage.
In 2019, the group partnered with VoteVets, a traditional rival, to urge lawmakers to reclaim their constitutional war powers duties. The New York Times wrote about the unlikely partnership. Setting the example for lawmakers and the administration, the groups found common ground on this issue and flew activists and volunteers in to DC to meet with their members of Congress to bring some real, lasting policy change in Washington.
CVA has been staunch in its support of lawmakers who have taken a principled stand and worked to repeal these measures in the past. In 2019, CVA welcomed the addition of the bipartisan War Powers Caucus to Congress, applauding lawmakers for prioritizing the issue. CVA also launched a digital ad campaign thanking lawmakers for standing against endless war, praising lawmakers for voting to ensure proper Congressional input before any offensive military force against Iran.