House Appropriations Bill Would End 9/11 War Authorization

Senate unlikely to accept language in final version

Passed in the House, the near trillion dollar appropriations bill includes a potentially historic move: it would in 8 months time end the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

The 9/11 war authorization remains the legal pretext for the US occupation of Afghanistan, and has been used to justify countless military operations since, many of them against groups with no apparent ties to 9/11, and sometimes groups that didn’t even exist back in 2001.

The broad language of the 2001 bill has long been criticized, and the eight months to sunset is intended to give Congress time to replace it with more well thought out language on specific wars, ideally language that wouldn’t serve as a catch all for any war any president would seek.

But it may not happen. The House version of the bill still has to be reconciled with the Senate version, and many in the Senate are objecting to the idea of taking the authorization, a favorite of the multiple presidents, off the table.

With House Democrats saying they don’t want to see the government shut down over this matter, it is expected that the calls for expiring the war authorization would ultimately be abandoned.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.