December 11, 2014

Udall Votes for Authorization of Military Force Against ISIS

Offers two bipartisan amendments to limit AUMF to 1 year and restrict war to Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined the full committee to debate and pass a resolution authorizing war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for three years. During the hearing, Udall offered two amendments with Senator Rand Paul (R-Kent.): to limit the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to just one year, and to ensure the use of force doesn't extend beyond Iraq and Syria without congressional approval. Both amendments were unsuccessful. Udall issued the following statement after the hearing:

"ISIS is a brutal terrorist group that poses a real threat to security in the region and to our nation, and the military action we have taken in Operation Inherent Resolve was necessary to prevent genocide and protect our interests and those of our allies in the Middle East. But I'm concerned that we're on the verge of a third Iraq War - this time against a terrorist organization, not a nation - with no limitations on time, geographic scope or cost.

"The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to declare war, and we should take it seriously. We should revisit this authorization every year, to exercise real oversight and to try to do everything we can to make sure there aren't unintended consequences. While I'm disappointed my amendments weren't successful, I'm pleased the Senate Foreign Relations Committee honored its responsibility with today's vote. The next step should be a debate by the full Congress, and we should stay in session as long as it takes to do our constitutional duty and debate and pass an AUMF."