Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Joins Bipartisan Coalition in Sending Letter to Speaker Boehner & Leader Pelosi Urging Vote on ISIS War in November

September 22, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, joined a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress in sending a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the Congressional leaders to call a vote for an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS when Congress returns to session in November.

“We respectfully ask that you bring an authorization regarding U.S. military operations in Iraq, and if necessary, Syria, before the House for consideration when the Congress reconvenes in November,” the lawmakers wrote.

Signatories to the letter have diverse viewpoints on the wisdom of the conflict and the exact strategy that should be pursued, but the bipartisan Members all agree that a vote is required to “uphold the Constitutional and institutional responsibilities of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

The signatories include Congress Members James McGovern (D-MA), Tom Cole (R-OK), Walter Jones (R-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Richard Nugent (R-FL), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), John Garamendi (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Keith Ellison (D-MN), John Lewis (D-GA), and John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN).

Congressman Garamendi has repeatedly cautioned that the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs were clearly never intended to apply to the ISIS terrorist organization, since ISIS didn’t even exist when those war authorizations were voted on. Under the U.S. Constitution and War Powers Resolution, the President is required to seek Congressional approval for any war within 60 to 90 days.

The letter reads:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi,

We respectfully ask that you bring an authorization regarding U.S. military operations in Iraq, and if necessary, Syria, before the House for consideration when the Congress reconvenes in November. 

We believe the terms of the July 25th concurrent resolution approved by the House have been met and that U.S. Armed Forces are engaged in sustained combat operations in Iraq, and there is an increasing bipartisan recognition that the time has come to take up and debate an authorization regarding U.S. military operations in Iraq. We encourage you to inform the members of the House when such a debate will occur and to direct the appropriate committees of jurisdiction to consult with the Administration on the scope of such an authorization.

We believe such a debate and vote is required, will enhance our national security and the ability of Congress and the Executive to carry out U.S. foreign and defense policies abroad, will better safeguard our homeland, and will uphold the Constitutional and institutional responsibilities of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

During votes on the Defense Appropriations in June, an amendment authored by Congressman Garamendi was unanimously adopted by voice vote requiring the Administration to seek the advice and consent of Congress before pursuing sustained military action in Iraq.

That amendment reads in full: "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used with respect to Iraq in contravention of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.), including for the introduction of United States forces into hostilities in Iraq, into situations in Iraq where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, or into Iraqi territory, airspace, or waters while equipped for combat, in contravention of the congressional consultation and reporting requirements of sections 3 and 4 of such Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1542 and 1543)."