EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Dan Bishop Moves To Overturn ‘War On Terror’ Authorization

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

A bipartisan group of representatives, led by Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, has introduced legislation to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that has granted four presidents broad authority to prosecute the War on Terror.

The 2001 AUMF allows the president to wage war “against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” In addition to the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan, presidents have used the resolution to justify operations in Somalia, Syria, and the Philippines.

“The 2001 AUMF has served as the legal rationale for nearly every global entanglement in the nebulous ‘War on Terror’ under four different Presidents. This is far beyond what the American people imagined this authority would be used for. Congress is constitutionally bound to take responsibility here — any overseas military campaign should have specific and limited authorizations, and those in favor of them should make that case. The American people are tired of forever wars and deserve to know where their representatives stand,” Bishop said in a statement to the Daily Caller.

Read the resolution here:

BISHNC_051_xml[40] by Michael Ginsberg on Scribd

Every sitting member of Congress at the time except Democrat California Rep. Barbara Lee voted in favor of the AUMF. Lee is the lead Democrat co-sponsor on Bishop’s legislation, which will be offered as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Other co-sponsors include Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Matt Gaetz of Florida. (RELATED: Gaetz Suggests Alliance Between ‘Squad’ And Populists On Anti-War Measures)

Congress has repeatedly sought to reassert its war powers in the 117th and 118th Congresses. The House voted in 2021 to repeal the 2002 AUMF that allowed the U.S. to go to war in Iraq, and the Senate followed in March. The Senate also voted to repeal the 1991 AUMF that birthed the Gulf War. Those repeals have not become law.

The House Armed Services Committee marked up the FY2024 NDAA in late June, before Congress departed for the two-week-long July 4 recess. The legislation appropriates $886 billion for the Defense Department, a 3.3% increase over 2023 levels. The House and Senate are likely headed for a showdown over the package, since Republicans in the upper chamber want to spend more money on the military.