House votes down war powers amendment

Author: Associated Press
United States Senate/ MGN

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House on Thursday rejected an effort to force lawmakers to vote by the end of March on new war powers to fight Islamic State militants.

The vote was 231-196 against adding an amendment to the House defense spending bill, a ballot that reflects the lack of political will in both the House and Senate on the bitterly disputed issue.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, would have required Congress to debate and vote on a new authorization for the use of military force by March 31. The amendment called for banning the use of funds in the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria unless Congress passed a new authorization.

“Ten months into an undeclared war against ISIS, Congress yet again dodged its responsibility to authorize the use of force,” Schiff said after the vote. “While our pilots and special forces risk it all, Congress refuses to do its job. Congressional abdication of our responsibility to declare war, or to deny authorization for war, sets a terrible precedent and shifts war-making powers substantially and inexorably towards the executive” branch.

In the fight against IS, President Barack Obama is relying on war authorizations given to President George W. Bush after 9/11. Obama sent a draft of a new authorization to Congress earlier this year, but lawmakers have taken few steps to get one passed.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.