Iraq Amendment Requiring Administration to Seek Congressional Approval Introduced by Armed Services Committee Member Garamendi

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, following a classified briefing from high level defense policy and intelligence officials to the House Armed Services Committee Members, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-Honolulu, HI) introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill (HAC-D).  This amendment would require the Administration to seek the advice and consent of Congress before sustained military action in Iraq. This amendment would not affect the Administration’s current efforts to strengthen embassy security.

"Before we ever consider sending our brave men and women in uniform back into the Iraq powder keg, we owe it to our servicemembers and to the American people to at least have a frank and public debate in the Halls of Congress," Armed Services Committee Member Garamendi said.

Under existing HAC-D language, the Administration was required to pursue this course of action in Syria. Garamendi's amendment simply adds an identical section specific to Iraq immediately following the Syria section (Section 9013).

The amendment limits defense funds from being utilized in Iraq if such action violates the War Powers Resolution, specifically relating to the Congressional consultation and reporting requirements mandated in sections 3 and for 4 of that law (50 U.S.C. 1542 and 1543).

Garamendi continued, "In 2003, Congress should have resisted the rush to a war of choice with Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent us from repeating the mistakes of my predecessors. I am deeply skeptical of reigniting America's involvement in Iraq's civil war, and if my amendment is adopted, we'll at least ensure a serious debate on the merits of returning to Iraq."

Congressman Garamendi has urged the Administration to accelerate an end to America's involvement in the Afghanistan War. He also vocally opposed a rush to war in Syria and pushed legislation into law making clear that the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act did not authorize military action.

Congressman Garamendi opposed intervention in Iraq in 2003, and from the moment he entered Congress, he advocated for a prompt withdrawal from Iraq. He has consistently called on Congress to reassert its Constitutionally-mandated role in giving advice and consent to the Administration in the build up to war.