At last, the House stands against undeclared war

The House of Representatives yesterday voted to deny President Trump the power to start an undeclared shooting war with Iran.

The House voted, 226-203, to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolution of 2001, which was intended to authorize military action against Al Qaeda, but has since been used to justify military interventions that have nothing to do with Al Qaeda.

The House vote was on an amendment to the $1 trillion military appropriations bill a $1 trillion military appropriations bill that included an amendment repealing the AUMF.  It was a strict party-line vote, with all but seven Democrats all in favor and Republicans all opposed.

It will now go to the Republican-controlled Senate.  It’s likely the Senate will remove the amendment; if so, there would have to be some sort of reconciliation process before the appropriation bill became law.

I don’t think the anti-war cause is hopeless.  A number of Republican Senators have misgivings about undeclared war.  The Senate passed a resolution with bipartisan support to deny U.S. funding for Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen, but this was vetoed by President Trump.

Repeal of the AUMF wouldn’t be a total solution to the problem.  It wouldn’t prevent covert war and economic war.  There were reports of a big explosion earlier this month at an Iranian oil storage facility, which may have been sabotage.

The Iranian government has said that if Iran is prevented from shipping oil through the Strait of Hormuz, nobody else will be able to ship either.  That’s a credible threat, and would be disastrous to the world economy if carried out.

The House vote is an important first step in Congress reasserting its Constitutional war powers authority and heading off a war with Iran.  It is, however, only a first step.


House votes to repeal Authorization for Use of Military Force while Trump reportedly urges representatives to tone down rhetoric on Iran by Tim O’Donnell for The Week.

Iran Tensions: House votes to repeal 9/11 era law used to authorize perpetual war by Tara Golshan for Vox.

Explosions Rock Iran’s Largest Port As Oil Products Catch Fire by Julianne Geiger for

Declassified: The Sino-Russian Masterplan to End U.S. Dominance in Middle East by Yossef Bodanksy for

Why Would Iran Attack Tankers? by Ian Welsh.


As a reminder: The AUMF was intended to authorize an invasion of Afghanistan, which sheltered Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.  It has nothing to do with Iran, which is ruled by Shiite Muslims while Al Qaeda’s forces consist of Sunnis.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guard in fact is supporting the Iraqi and Syrian government’s fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the remnants of Al Qaeda.

Tags: , , , , ,

4 Responses to “At last, the House stands against undeclared war”

  1. whungerford Says:

    The article from “The Week” cited states:

    “House Democrats voted to pass a $1 trillion appropriations bill, which includes a repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force — Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the only member of Congress to vote against AUMF in 2001, added the repeal last month.”

    The 226-203 vote was for H.R.2740, “Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes.”

    This statement from Phil’s article appears to be wrong:

    “The House vote was on an amendment to the $1 trillion military appropriations bill.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. philebersole Says:

    To whungerford: You’re right. I’m wrong. My writing was careless. The vote was on a bill that included the amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Lee in committee. Thanks for the correction.


  3. whungerford Says:

    Phil, thanks for the link. The committee vote is significant; I would like to know how the committee voted. A vote in the House to repeal AUMF would be much more significant. It is improbable that every Republican would oppose repealing AUMF or that every Democrat would favor it. It would have been outstanding if repeal had been included in NDAA for 2020.


  4. philebersole Says:

    The House Appropriations Committee voted 32-20 along party lines in May to add Rep. Lee’s amendment to the military appropriation bill.

    The bill including the amendment was passed yesterday by a vote of 226 to 203, with all but seven Democrats (not all Democrats as I wrongly reported) and zero Republicans voting in favor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: