House Rejects Bill That Would Lead to Debate on ISIS War Authorization

Defeated Soundly, Lee Amendment Would've Repealed 2001 AUMF

The latest effort to force a vote on the ongoing US war against ISIS, this time by Rep. Barbara Lee (D – CA), failed once again, with the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) shot down 138-285, in a vote heavily along party lines.

The amendment aimed to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda, which is being broadly interpreted to authorize the ISIS War, even though ISIS is not an al-Qaeda affiliate with 90 days, and would’ve obliged Congress to come up with a formal AUMF for the current war by that time.

Rep. Lee said she aimed to force debate on the current war and end the 2001 “blank check for endless war.” Rep. Pete Sessions (R – TX), one of only a handful of Republicans to cross the aisle, said Lee had “a really good argument.”

Years into the war, Congress has never voted on it. In 2014, the deadline for voting was ignored by Congressmen seeking to avoid a debate ahead of the mid-term elections. As the war continued to grow, there have been a handful of half-hearted efforts to “authorize” it, with President Obama offering an AUMF the White House publicly bragged was so “deliberately vague” they could use it to justify anything, and fighting fiercely against other authorizations that had actual limits on the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of