tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 18, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT
d such a large resource-rich safe haven as isis dozen today. never has aist -- dozen -- does today. never have they had the cash which they do today which includes thousands of western passport holders. unfortunately it is worse today and just weeks ago ramadi, a city only 75 miles from iraq's capital was overrun by isis and by its suicide bombers who led that first wave. . isis' goals are very clear. wreck every person opposing it, establish a caliphate and then fight to expand it. isis has unleashed a campaign of brutal and depraved violence, not only against shiia muslims and fellow sunnis who do not share their radical beliefs, but against vulnerable
religions and ethnic minorities. as one testified before the foreign affairs committee today, and i'll quote we commissionerish ethnic and religious diversity. isis hates it. and they late in some of the most brutal ways possible -- hate in some of the most brutal ways possible. mr. speaker, many not realize that iraq and syria are homes to dozens of religious and ethnic minorities with ancient cultures with very deep roots and these communities are under mortal threat in their ancestral homelands. the mass execution of men the enslavement of women and young girls as concubines, the destruction of religious sites is part of the isis effort to destroy these communities. their pran is to make it as if -- their plan is to make it as
if those societies never existed, those religions in those regions never existed. in fact, isis maintains a special betalon, they call it the demolition battalion, charged with destroying religious sites and artifacts that it considers radical. and isis has used the virtual caliphate on the internet to recruit foreign fighters at an unprecedented rate. some 20,000 of their fighters are in fact from off-shore, are foreign fighters drawn to the area from some 90 countries and that is the numbers that now are swelling its ranks. according to intelligence estimates, this includes at least 150 americans that we know of. yet over the last 10 or so months, the administration has put forth a reluctant and half-hearted and ineffective effort to assist our partners
there on the ground. i think we all recognize that this is up to the iraqi government to fight to win this. we understand that. they're in the lead but they desperately need help and i'm not prepared to say that we shouldn't be providing any military support to the kurds strung along 180 mile -- several hundred-mile front with 180,000 soldiers, 30% of those kurdish soldiers are female and those young women are down there with small arms trying to hold off isis fighters along that line. i am not prepared to say that we should not be providing any military support for those kurds or for the iraqi forces any air support whatsoever. and that's what this resolution does.
it didn't have to be this dire. well over a year ago when isis was building its force in the desert in syria it wasn't bombed and devastated when it could have been. it should have been. many called for an effort at that point to have an air campaign by the u.s. and our partners to pummel isis as it moved across the desert in these long columns and begin the process to take city after city. it came out of syria and first it headed to fallujah and there was a call to use airpower to suppress and destroy isis then. that step was not taken and for 14 separate cities, city after city all the way to mosul we watched every time the request be made for airpower and that was turned down. well, we are where we are now and frankly the air campaign by the u.s. and our partners isn't
pummeling the enemy now as it should. daily air strikes against the islamic state are 1/6 of what they were in the first campaign against the taliban back in 2001. u.s. special forces should be authorized to call in air strikes. most americans would be puzzled to learn the canadian special forces are doing this but we are not. pilots complain of having their hands tied. it has been estimated that 3/4 of u.s. aircraft return to base without discharging their weapons because of overly restrictive rules of engagement that don't allow them to engage isis. as one observer notes with just piecemeal attacks, the administration has been systematically squandering our airpower advantage. i think that is right. and adding to the problem the regional forces on the ground that these air strikes are supposed to be supporting are
badly undersupplied. after 10 months of fighting, there are still too many reports that kurdish our allies, are outgunned on the front lines against isis. i met with their foreign minister three times now as he's made this case. again, that 30% of his battalions, kurdish battalions are female battalions and they can't obtained the anti-tank weapons, the artillery, the mortars to use against isis in this battle. while u.s. forces have been training some iraqis, that has been done way beyond the front lines and rather than pairing up with smaller units and deploying with them to push them to the front -- and that's, by the way a technique that's proven effective in afghanistan and iraq in the past -- it this has not been done. so u.s. advisors are unable to bolster iraqi units when they
come under attack or to call in air strikes by u.s. planes. we don't have the capacity to do that, and that limitation tragically helped ramadi fall. mr. speaker, our friends and allies and partners in this region of the world are in serious trouble from the threat of isis. they need our help. employing our airpower like we should, getting those weapons to the front lines that are needed by the kurds putting more u.s. special forces into play would help turn this around, but that's not at all what this measure calls for. as i say, it's quite the opposite. it calls for the president to remove united states armed forces deployed to iraq or syria on august 7 or after. the foreign affairs committee has held many hearings on isis and on the instability in the
region. we haven't heard any witness make the case that complete withdrawal is what is needed. what would happen to iraq, what would happen to jordan what would happen to civilians in the theater? i think we can all agree that situation would compound. this is the question in front of us today. do we pull the modest number of our modest presence out of this theater and see isis run wild across the iraqi desert with no help from the united states? i don't think so. there is no military-only answer to the isis challenge. the iraqi government must do far more to reconcile with sunnis, building confidence and empowering them to take on isis. isis must be attacked financially and its propaganda
must be relentlessly challenged, and arab leaders need to lead. just as there is no military-only answer, there is no answer without a military component of helping the kurds and helping those who are fighting isis. and right now the u.s. role, as much as we may regret it, is needed desperately. mr. speaker, in the national security interest of the united states, i ask all members to oppose house concurrent resolution 55. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to h.con.res 55, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: let me first say that i believe congress needs to do its job and pass an aumf, which is the authorization for the use of military force. we should have acted on this
months ago, so this is the right message but with only the highest respect to my colleague from massachusetts, i believe that withdrawal by a date certain at this time is the wrong policy. this measure would direct the president to remove all u.s. armed forces deployed to iraq or syria since august 7 2014, except those needed to protect american diplomatic facilities and personnel. that's no way to defeat isis or to help the people of iraq and syria. i cannot vote for a policy i do not support. however i share the frustration voiced by mr. mcgovern, ms. lee and many others. i've said time and time again that congress should pass a new aumf. we owe it to the american people. we should do our job and we owe it to our men and women in uniform. congressional inaction on an aumf is inexcusable. congress has had months to consider the president's
language, and it's well past time we act. right now the administration is using the resolution we passed after september 11, 2001, as the legal justification to fight isis. this is deeply problematic. first of all, the 2001 aumf has none of the limits many of us are seeking. the american people have no stomach for another large-scale open-ended commitment of american troops in the middle east. it was our disastrous intervention in iraq last decade that set the stage for the rise of isis in the first place. this is a new challenge, and we need new parameters to define our mission and our goals. at the same time using a 2001 authorization for a 2015 conflict sets a terrible precedent. what happens in five years when the next administration does the same thing and five years
after that and five years after that? we didn't vote for perpetual war and we need a new aumf. so we cannot allow that outcome . with a new aumf, i hope it will be a bipartisan effort. i hope it will be the heal mark of our work on the foreign a-- hallmark of our work on the foreign affairs committee. i commend my friend, mr. mcgovern, for taking a stand on this issue and we are in agreement that the united states must avoid another failed open-ended war in the middle east. but there is a role for the united states in this region and we should not just vote to withdrawal. i believe that would be cutting off our nose to spite our face. the united states supported the iraqis and the syrians who are fighting isis. it's a difficult fight but i don't think we can walk away. with american leadership we were able to prevent a wholesale slaughter of the
azitty people. with american help, our iraqi partners were able to control the mosul dam which if breached by isis, could ended up in death and displacement of 200,000 people. with american assistance, the iraqi security forces and the moderate syrian opposition are taking back territory. too slowly but they're taking back territory, particularly in the south. the foreign affairs committee just had a hearing earlier this morning and we saw horrific situations of children being gassed in syria. there's no good side in syria. we've got to somehow let the free syria army or the ribbles -- rebels the well-vetted moderate rebels, we have to help them and that's why i believe there's still a role for us to play. a withdrawal by turning our heads away because we're fed up and disgusted i think is not
the right move. this fight's far from over and the united states has a critical role to play. we need an authorization that defines a role for the united states, a limited role, and that's the measure i will support. i again do want to thank mr. mcgovern for bringing this issue to the floor. he's a thoughtful, effective colleague. while i appreciate his resolution, i commend him for focusing this congress on this important issue. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house concurrent resolution 55, which comes before the house today under the provisions of the war powers resolution. along with my colleagues walter jones and barbara lee we introduced this bipartisan bill to force a debate on how congress' failed to carry out its constitutional duty to authorize our military
engagement in iraq and syria. last august the president authorized air strikes against the islamic state in iraq and syria. for over 10 months, the united states has been engaged in hostilities in iraq and syria without debating an authorization for this war. . on february 11 of this year, over four months ago, the president sent to congress the text for an authorization for the use of military force on combating the islamic state in iraq, syria and elsewhere. yet congress has failed to act on that aumf. or bring an alternative to the house floor. even though we continue to authorize and appropriate money for sustained military operations in those countries. this is unacceptable. this house appears to have no problem sending our uniformed men and women into harm's way it. appears to have no problem -- way. it appears to have no problem spending billions of dollars for the arms equipment and air power to carry out these wars but it can't step up to the plate and take responsibility for these wars.
our service men and women are brave and dedicated. congress, however, is guilty of moral cowardess. the republican leadership of this house wines and complains from the sidelines -- whines and complains from the sidelines and shirks its constitutional duties to bring an aumf to the floor of this house, debate it and vote on it. this resolution requires the president to withdraw u.s. troops from iraq and syria within 30 days or no later than the end of this year, december 31 2015, if this house approvings this resolution, congress would still have six months in which to do the right thing and bring an aumf before the house and senate for debate and action. six months. either congress needs to live up to its responsibilities and authorize this war, or by its continuing neglect and indifference, our troops should be withdrawn and come home. it's that simple. two weeks ago general john allen, the u.s. envoy for the u.s.-led coalition fighting
isil said that this fight may take, and i quote, a generation or more, end quote. and according to the pentagon, we have spent more than $2.74 billion in the fight against the islamic state. that's roughly $9.1 million each and every day. we have approximately 3,500 boots on the ground and that number is rising. if we're going to invest -- if we're going to invest a generation or more of our blood and our treasure in this war, and if we're going to continue to tell our armed forces that we expect them to fight and die in these wars, it seems to me the least we can do is stand up and vote to authorize these wars. or we should end them. we owe that to the american people. we owe that to our troops and their families. and we owe that to the oath of office that each of us took to uphold the constitution of the united states. mr. speaker we're going to hear all kinds of crazy today about this resolution.
some members will say that it demands the withdrawal of our troops in 30 days. well, that's true if you only read half a sentence in the bill. the other half makes clear that the president has until the end of the year to withdraw our troops. some members will claim that this resolution will undercut our troops while they are carrying out bombing campaigns and training iraqi and syrian soldiers under dangerous conditions. they will claim it will deny the iraqis and the kurds our critical support in fighting against the brutal terror and threat of isis. they will claim that it leaves isis unchecked by u.s. air power and allows them to overrun the region. mr. speaker, the truth is that it is precisely these threats and these challenges that make this debate so urgent. with such compelling issues at hand, how can congress stand by and do nothing? how can congress not have this debate and vote on an authorization for this war? by setting a clear deadline, congress cannot -- deadline
congress cannot ignore, this resolution provides a strong guarantee that congress will finally do its job. that congress will honor its duty to our troops and all americans, by debating and voting on an authorization for this war. our troops deserve a congress that has the courage to stand with them. i see the courage and sacrifice of our uniformed men and women. but i see nothing but cowardess from this leadership in this house. if they believe we should send our military forces to iraq and syria to fight isis and possibly die over there then we should do our duty. we should do our job and bring an aumf to the house floor, debate it and take some responsibility for this war. that's all this resolution is trying to do. give the leadership of this house a deadline that even they can't ignore. either an aumf -- either enact an aumf over the next six months or withdraw our forces from iraq and syria.
one or the other. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: before recognizing the gentlewoman from missouri, i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. royce: again, the resolution before us today has nothing to do with an authorization for the use of military force. it is a withdrawal resolution. so i don't want to leave some of the oversimplified authorization use of military force rhetoric here unaddressed. the real question that the proponents are begging, what should the united states be doing to combat isis? the answer of today's resolution would be nothing. we should withdraw from combating the isis threat. that would be irresponsible and dangerous. i don't disagree that the current state of the legal authorities the president is using against isis is less than
ideal from our constitution's perspective. but that -- institution's perspective. but that does not equal illegal and unconstitutional. i say this as someone who is deeply concerned about the president's weak and unstrategic response to the isis threat. the president has short circuited this debate by claiming complete authority under prior statutes to use our armed forces against isis. his administration has made the case that isis, which was previously known as al qaeda in iraq, quote has been an enemy of the united states within the scope of the 2001 authorization continuously since at least 2004 unquote. he's made that case that isis grew out of al qaeda in iraq and in point of fact, that is where -- and, in point of fact, that's where isis came from. no aumf we could draft could
give the president more operational authority than he already claims. indeed, the draft text he sent asks us to constrain the authority that he already has and complicated, by the way, the offer to reach consensus. just last week this body considered a defense appropriations amendment that would have used congress' -- i'm going to ask for an additional two minutes. thank you mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: that thank would have used congress' -- that would have used congress' constitutional power of the purse to force the aumf issue. cutting off funding if congress does not enact an isis-specific aumf within the next year. that proposal failed in this institution. so the reality is that congress has made decisions that amount to a practical view disagreeing with the authors of this resolution, allowing the president to use current force authorities against isis is
preferable to refusing to confront the threat isis poses to our national security altogether. now, i'll continue to work with ranking member eliot engel and all of our colleagues to see if we can find a way forward on a revise and updated authorization focused on the vicious and growing threat posed by isil. by isis. that is what we need to be working on together. but merely acting without a credible way forward is foolhardy, it's not brave, it's foolhardy. a divisive and unsuccessful aumf process would be perceived by our allies, our partners and our enemies as a no-confidence vote in the fight against isis, resulting in a significant blow to the national security of the united states. now allow me, mr. speaker, to yield two minutes to the
gentlewoman from missouri mrs. hartzler, who chairs the armed services subcommittee on oversight and investigations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized for two minutes. mrs. hartzler: thank you, thank you mr. chairman. while i respect my colleague who offered this amendment, i oppose this resolution and urge my colleagues to vote in opposition. this unwise resolution will call for the unilateral withdrawal of u.s. forces from the fight against isil and leave this growing evil to continue to expand, terrorizing millions. this resolution would do more than halt all u.s. strikes against the terrorist group in iraq and syria, removing the approximately 3,500 u.s. trainers from iraq it. would unwisely deny -- iraq. it would unwisely deny the support to fight against the brutal and barbaric terrorist group leaving -- group, leaving them alone to stop this threat. this resolution would leave isil unchecked by u.s. air power allow the vicious terrorist group to gain strength further destabilizing
the region by threatening allies such as jordan, and create a largely uncontested safe haven for which isil could plot attacks against the united states. it would allow the continued brutality of a group who beheads innocents, including americans, forces women and children into sexual slavery destroys religious heritage sites and targets christians and others. this resolution has nothing to do with authorizing the use of military force against isil. instead this resolution simply unilaterally withdraws our u.s. forces from fighting back against this evil. i urge opposition to this resolution. thank you mr. chairman, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you mr. speaker. let me again say that what we have here, as well intentioned
as i know it is is a unilateral withdrawal, clean and simple. i understand the frustration but this is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. i think we need to be very, very careful before we do these things unilaterally. it's my pleasure to now call on mr. connolly of virginia for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker and i thank my good friend, eliot engel from new york, the distinguished ranking member, the full committee of the foreign affairs committee, and my friend, ed royce, the chairman of that full committee, both distinguished men. and i echo theirentment ises -- their sentiments. mr. speaker, i rise -- their sentiments. mr. speaker, i rise today in reluctant opposition to the measure offered by mr. mcgovern, who's sincerity can never be questioned in this body. i understand the purpose underlying this legislation. and i identify with the
frustration that it expresses as i think do all of us. pro ponalts of the measure want -- proponents of the measure want congress to debate and vote on the use of military force in iraq and syria and so do i. proponents of this measure believe that congress has failed to perform its constitutional duty by not taking up the authorization of the use of military force against the islamic state of iraq and the levant. so you do i -- so do i. in fact i believe the failure to debate an aumf against isil is a continuation of a sad but 60-year pattern of congress abrogating one of its most fundamental constitutional roles and responsibilities. for an institution that constantly laments its subjugation at the hands of the executive branch, its repeat from its constitutional duty on this order is jaw-dropping. it's time congress make clear
the circumstances and parameters under which we would once again authorize engagement for our and by our men and women in uniform in this tumultuous region of the world, or for that matter anywhere. but one cannot endorse the tactic of this measure. this is constructed to be a something that threaten us -- to be something that threatens us, congress, with the automatic withdrawal of our forces in the region in order to force congressional action with an aumf. congress should not heed such a message, nor should it kater to such a -- cater to such a sword hanging over our head in order to do our jobs. a mission with no clear mandate and conflicting objectives is hardly a formula for military or political victory. and we should welcome a robust and transparent debate on the
matter of an aumf, but not at any cost on the battlefield itself. a withdrawal, as this resolution does mandated irrespective of battlefield reality, battlefield progress lately against isis a withdrawal mandated irrespective of our commitments to the kurds, or for that matter, to the iraqi government itself, that would be irresponsible and unworthy of a great power however noble the underlying cause is. we have responsibilities on the ground. this resolution is drafted, as they say in latin, all other things being equal that is to say, in a perfect world. we don't live in a perfect world. our engagements are what they are. our commitments are what they are. and i don't share the distinguished chairman's criticism of this administration. it's a americay region to begin with -- murky region to begin with. our leverage is limited, our
choices are dark and complicated. but we are making progress in the region as we speak. to simply ignore all of that and insist we withdraw, in my view would be irresponsible and unworthy of this great nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. . mr. mcgovern: this resolution that we are debating today would have no standing. and i guess my question is, what do we have to do? what do members of this house both democrats and republicans have to do to force the leadership to bring to the floor an aumf so we can do our job. that's all we are asking for and this is a blunt instrument to do it, but i don't know what else it will take to force this issue. we owe it to our servicemen and women to have this debate and this vote.
i yield three minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. jones: i thank mr. mcgovern for the time. as many people have said today even those for and against the resolution, we have a constitutional duty, that duty is to debate. so i want to quote james madison, to put the context on what we are trying to say today. the power to declare war including debating the causes of war is vested in the legislature. not the executive branch, but the legislature. the frustration that we have felt goes back to august of 2014 when jim mcgovern and barbara lee and walter jones wrote asking the speaker of the house to allow us to have a debate. that's why mr. mcgovern, bar ra
lee and i have put this resolution in today. we wouldn't be talking about the middle east if it weren't for this resolution. in september i sent my own letter to speaker boehner and asked for a full debate on authorization to use military force in the region, none of these letters have been answered, none of them. last september speaker boehner told the "new york times" that he wanted to wait until 2015 to bring an aumf to the floor of the house for a debate and vote to avoid bringing it up during a lame duck session. ok. i can accept that. it makes good sense. in december, speaker boehner said the house republicans would work with the president to get a aumf request if the president sent one to congress. he did send us one in february.
most people, democrat and republican didn't like what was in the aumf, at least it was a vehicle for debate. but then in february, when the speaker of the house received it he didn't do anything with it. nothing has happened. as has been said by speakers before me, last month, jim mcgovern and barbara lee sent another letter asking for a debate. nothing happened. that's the reason this resolution is on the floor. it's because, as madison said house, do your job. he didn't say executive branch, do your job. he said the legislative branch. that is us. we need to do this on behalf of the constitution and on behalf of our young men and women in uniform who will give their life for their country. it has been 314 days since president obama started launching air strikes and
putting troops in iraq and syria without authorization by congress. according to the pentagon, we have spent $9 million a day for a total of $2.7 billion. isn't this another reason that we should be debating the middle east and our role in the middle east? i think so. let me repeat james madison. the power to declare war including the power of judging the causes of war -- may i have half a minute. gomb mr. mcgovern: i yield 30 seconds. mr. jones: i would like to say i bring these pictures to the floor of those who give their life for this country. this is a flag-draped coffin being pulled off of a transport plane in dover, delaware, and it is time we meet our obligation and debate this issue of war because we are not doing our job and owe it to the american people and to the constitution and to those who wear the
uniform. i thank you, mr. mcgovern for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to mr.|wilson a member of the committee on foreign affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. wilson: thank you for your leadership. i'm opposed to the house concurrent resolution which would withdraw forces who have provided regional stability to protect american families. this resolution would undermine america's campaign to fight terrorists overseas and end our campaign and stop our training and equipping of the tribal forces as well as moderate syrian opposition forces and abandon our commitment to the
partners in the region. the resolution would promote isil's momentum and create safe havens for terrorists and create tehran's influence that declares death to america, death to israel. it would allow there would be a greater threat to american families with attacks from new york to boston and creating safe havens to enable more attacks. we must remember september 11. unilateral withdrawal will not stop the war. the resolution does not consider the situation on the ground in iraq or syria or the recommendations to the joint chiefs of staff. this morning, chairman martin dempsey said withdrawing the troops would be a mistake. as the grateful dead of two sons who have served in iraq, i would prefer a clear strategy of victory. we should not abandon the efforts of peace through
strength. i want to work with members to develop a better approach and my hope it will accomplish this. the only course of action to take steps jihadist extremists overseas. i'm opposed to the house concurrent resolution and urge my colleagues to vote against it . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker it's now my pleasure to yield three minutes to a rising star on the foreign affairs committee, mr. boil of pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. boyle: i thank the chair and ranking member and i want to sponsor the author of this resolution, mr. mcgovern. thanks to him, we finally have a chance to discuss and debate this issue right here on the
house floor. before i entered this body when i was a state legislator and a candidate, i noticed back last august september as the isis movement was growing in iraq and syria and other parts of the middle east, the british parallelment rushed back to london to debate a war resolution. i was disappointed as an american citizen and quite frankly shocked that the united states congress did not do exactly the same thing. to come here and outline and debate the parameters by which we would authorize the president to wage war against this evil and barbaric threat. unfortunately, that did not happen. several months ago, i think it might have been back in january, president obama did submit to the foreign affairs committee of
which i'm proudly a member, an authorization to use military force. unfortunately, that aumf got attacked by some on the right as insufficient in some areas and got attacked by some on the left as insufficient in other areas. both sides have legitimate discussions and concerns. what went wrong after that is that we didn't have that discussion or debate right here on the house floor. it was too easy for members of this body to just say, this was too difficult. we're going to let the president handle it and we're going to shirk our responsibility. that is wrong. mr. speaker, i do not support -- let me be clear the resolution that's in front of us and will not be voting for it. i think an outright withdrawal of troops within the next six
weeks would be a terrible mistake and that's not the approach we should take. i do believe it's about time we do our duty and responsibility and have this discussion and debate. it is about time we the congress of the united states, on a bipartisan basis come up with an actionable plan to fight and defeat isis, one that is consistent with our values and at the same time one that does not inadvertently commit us to five and 10 years down the road responsibilities that we do not envision today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel who believes congress ought to do its job and pass the aumf. mr. rangel: ask unanimous consent to revise and stepped my remarks. mr. mcgovern, mr. jones ms.
lee, i thought the house would be screaming at the opportunity to justify sending men and women to a different part of the world that we believe is of danger to the entire community. i'm so amazed that people are saying that this resolution calls for the immediate withdrawal of our troops. i don't read it that way. because i don't know of anything that justifies them being there and this could be screaming for a reason why the administration and members of congress want these troops there. i have no clue as to why people believe that these people have been fighting each other for thousands of years is a threat to my nation's national security. i don't know of any of my
constituents that goes to sleep at night worried about isis invading their community. i do know because i'm old enough to remember that when the japanese struck pearl harbor immediately president roosevelt called the congress to declare war and america with pride, came out to support our nation and our president. now, i don't see the connection between isis and being struck by japanese and germans, but i know one thing, when an american dice when they lose their lives, when we send them overseas, when they come back wounded, we have an obligation and this body to justify why we've done it. i may be wrong, but the reason i
think we run away from this responsibility is because we don't really feel the pain of the people we're sending all over the world and exposing them to losing their lives. and why don't we feel it? don't we say thank you for your service? do we thank the people who don't come back? do we explain and go to the funerals that i go to, as to why we're there? to explain if the president of the united states and the members of this house believe it's important for them to be here. all you have to do is come here declare war or justify why the security of the united states is being threatened. and i then will be prepared to send somebody else's kids to fight this war to protect the
rest of our country. we don't have a draft. i ask for an additional 30 seconds. mr. mcgovern: yield 30 seconds. mr. rangel: i conclude by saying that when issues are serious enough for us to draft other people's kids, when it is serious enough for us to say that we aren't going to borrow money from communist china to pay for these wars, then i can be convinced even if i disagree, that when this congress and this president believes my country's being threatened, you count me in. until such time, we're waiting to hear about the threat to our national security so that we -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves and the gentleman from california is recognized.
mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin. mr. zeldin: only in congress do you have a resolution to authorizize the use of force because you want to authorize the use of force. it is it's pretty insulting that you'd propose a resolution to withdraw troops and then accuse the other side of cowardice. there needs to be more of a strategy to defeat isis or lack thereof. we have a duty here in congress to set up our troops to succeed, not fail. there has been a lot of debate with regard to the authorization and use of military force. i'm proud to serve on the foreign affairs committee. chairman royce has had multiple hearings, discussing the authorization for the use of
military force. secretary kerry was before the committee, he was asked, is this authorization -- does this authorization authorize offensive action? he said no. there was a five paragraph letter since with the authorization request talking about the need to use special operations forces and we can't get a straight answer from this administration as to whether or not he's referring to ours. yes, we have a duty to set up our troops to succeed and not fail. we had a marine general in front of the foreign affairs committee. when asked whether or not our general in charge of our troops overseas in iraq that general has the ability to authorize the mission to take out abu bauk or abu ghadi, he had a paragraph that said the yen can make a recommendation. what's further insulting is just how many people don't even know the name of that two-star general. not only does he not have the flexibility and resources he
needs to accomplish the mission, from the administration that is in charge right now led by the command for the chief, my constituents, americans, don't even know that gentleman's name. yes, there has been a lot of debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. zell din: we have a need to -- mr. zeldin: we have a need to protect our troops. that's why i support this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i agree that congress should do its job and pass a new aumf. the question is, is this the best way to do it? we ought to pass the right aumf not just any aumf. we're told that we should force the issue. i had a friend who used to say be careful what you wish for. if we pass this resolution, it's more than possible that republican leadership will force through language that we on this side of the aisle cannot accept something that does not have the
limits the democrats are seeking or worse, would just ratify the administration's argument that the 2001 aumf applies to isil. we need to pass an aumf i agree, but we need to pass the right aumf, even if that means we can't do it within six months. i hope we can get together and do that and we should. that's why i think this debate is good. but i think passing any aumf is like buying a anything a poke and i'm not ready to go down that line. i reserve the rest of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, we should have passed an aumf before we get into this -- got into this latest war. we've been at it for 10 month. we're asking congress to do its job in the next six months. how much longer do we want? with that, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. massie. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize for two minutes. mr. massie: i thank the
gentleman from massachusetts. i think some words from james madison are instructive to this debate. he said, in no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war and peace to the legislature and not to the executive department. because the objection of such a mixture of heterogenerals you powers, the trust would be too great for any one man. in war, a physical force is to be created and it is the executive which is to direct it. in war, the public treasures are to be unlocked and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. hence it has grown into an axiom that the executive is the department of power most distinguished by its propensity to war. hence it is the practice of all states in proportion as they are free to disarm that propensity of its influence. that was a warning that he gave us and unfortunately, after
being in this conflict for several years without an authorization from congress, we have devolved into the distaupian condition that he warned us about. i don't think anybody in this body seeks to weaken our powers or give them to the president. what we're debating here is when to have the authorization for use of military force or declaration of war. the time to have that was two years ago. years ago, before the president acted. and so to the people who are against this resolution i say, you could be right. you might be right. if this resolution fails, i hope you're right that this resolution wasn't necessary. and we do assert our constitutional prerogative, our responsibility and have that debate and therefore instruct the president on the reasons for this engagement. and what his directives are. and so, with that, i just want to remind my colleagues this is
a strategy, this is a tactic, a parliamentary tactic that's necessary to force the debate and let's have the debate. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: i thank the chairman for the time. i, like the author of this resolution, am concerned about our troops that have been in iraq and afghanistan for a long time. in my office, i have photographs of the 37 texans that have been killed in iraq or afghanistan. of all races. both sexes. all branches of the service. here we are years later, we're still there. but i'm also concerned about this group of isis.
the question is, is isis a national security threat to the united states? i believe that it is. they are doing things to other people that we haven't seen in world history since the barbarians. and they are doing things much worse than that. isis wants to establish a call fat in the middle east. it wants to kill us in the united states. they've made that clear. and if isis is a national security threat to the u.s., which i believe it is, then let's have a plan to defeat them. a plan now. why are we waiting years to make this decision? have the debate on the house floor. national security threat, yes, go after them. if not, then do something else. meanwhile, people, -- meanwhile people of all nations are dying. you know, i believe that isis
will continue as long as there's not someone to stop them. it's in our national security interest to defeat them. the united states need to have a plan. people are dying from all nations. we need to make a decision. we need to make a decision as soon as possible. and we need to pick a horse and ride it and we need to do it as well. but this issue, this bill, is not the answer to do that. that weakens us, it weakens our national security to pass this legislation. i oppose it. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expyred. the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from florida ms. fran tell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. frankel: thank you, mr. engel. mr. speaker, this debate is personal to me. i watched my son ben a proud
united states marine, sent off to two wars. afghanistan and iraq. my family was blessed. he returned safely. both sides of the aisle know the battle, the price of the battle. too many killed, too many deeply scarred, too many lives of loved ones disrupted. trillions of dollars spent. the reputation of our country at stake. sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes in tragic error. and i will agree with those who say that when terror strikes in the world it is our concern and it does require our leadership. and there are times that we must risk brave lives to save many more. but with that said, when i came to washington i vowed not to send anyone else's son or
daughter in harm's way unless i understood the mission and the end game too. we owe this to all our children and that is why i urge my colleagues to take the time to deliberate and debate on the use of force against the terrorists who threaten the security of our country and our allies. congress has no greater responsibility. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. garamendi: mr. speaker, article 1, section 8 of the united states constitution is clear. congress alone shall have the power to declare war and make no mistake, the current campaign against isis is a war. mr. speaker, our esteemed
colleague from texas made a very cogent argument about why we need clarity. the inability to have a clear plan is based upon the fact that congress has not yet articulated an authorization to use force that would lay out the parameters and the extent of what we would expect the president to do. now the president says he's -- he has the authorization under the 2001 and 2002. ambiguity clearly, is present. i disagree with the president on those as an authorization. i've argued for more than 10 months that our military operations against isis need their own authorization. the president did his part he, submitted a draft to us in february. since then, we've had a few committee hearings but no real action. leadership in both houses of the senate, both houses have refused to schedule votes on this issue either in committee or on the floor. that is unacceptable. we've already run up significant costs 2. -- $2.7 billion on
operations to continue the fight against isis and i-- in iraq and syria. and we've begun delivering $1.7 billion of weapons. more importantly, we've lost seven service members already. this chas -- this has to change. this resolution is to force us, the congress, to uphold our constitutional duty to debate and vote on the authorization for the use of force in iraq and syria and i have no doubt that if this resolution passes, an appropriate authorization to use force will be passed and will have claire -- and we'll have clarity as to the scope and conduct of this war. i thank my colleagues for introducing this resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. holding: i want to thank the chairman for the time.
mr. speaker, i rise to oppose the resolution in front of us today. if passed, the pressure we, the united states, have been able to apply against isis would be stopped and our allies in the region would be left out in the cold. there's no doubt about the true wickedness of isis in both iraq and syria. their twisted views and thirst for blood have spread instability in the middle east leaving a wake of destruction. the united states along with our partners have struggled to beat back isis' advances and the adoption of this resolution would effectively end our operations against isis, thus creating a direct threat to our national security and our interests. mr. speaker this resolution is misguided and unwise and i urge my colleagues to oppose it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields. the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to
yield three minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for three minutes. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the resolution brought to the floor by my colleague mr. mcgovern. no one disputes the horrific nature of the activities that are being described today and the sickening violence in this region of the world no one disputes they must be defeated. the question is, what is the best strategy to defeat them and what authorization is required to accomplish this objective? this is exactly the purpose of a full, thoughtful debate on the use of military force. my constituents expect congress to do its job. and we have failed for four months to act on the president's draft for the authorization of the use of military force. there is no more serious duty that we have than the declaration of war. i thank my friend from massachusetts for taking an action intended to force the
house to perform institutional responsibility and debate the use of mill fair -- military force in iraq and syria. this resolution this resolution will force the house to do what it has failed to do. over the past 14 years the united states has lost heroes. mr. speaker, i'm deeply concerned about the possibility that we could continue to commit more brave american men and women in uniform to a conflict without considering, seriously debating and properly authorizing that use of military force. allowing this action to continue without a real public debate is failing our most solemn responsibility as members of congress. this is the only way that we will develop and implement a successful strategy, a rigorous debate in full public view.
we absolutely must ensure that any additional involvement in any way has clearly defined goals and objectives, is properly limited in scope is fully explained to and supported by the american people. that is what mr. mcgovern's resolution attempts to do, to force this house over the next several months to undertake its constitutional responsibility to debate, to carefully consider and to ultimately authorize the use of military force. we should not shirk this responsibility. i thank the gentleman from massachusetts for giving us the opportunity to make our voices heard and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to dress the house for
one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: this hour, this minute, this second ace actually a gift to the american people. i thank the proponents of this resolution because it recognizes first and above all that this little document the constitution, albeit small creates mountains of responsibility on behalf of the american people. this moment, this minute, this second we are giving the american people their due and their respect, and that is to acknowledge that there must be a full debate on sending our treasure continuously to iraq and syria. there is no divide between us on the vialness of isis and the terrorist groups and the willingness of american people to be sympathetic and helping the iraqis and syrians and those who are suffering and bleeding. but after 6,000 wounded,
hundreds who have been killed, particularly in my state, and thousands more across the nation, that we have to find the pathway where all of us know what we're doing. this is an important resolution. we need to to debate it and our soldiers need to be protected and ultimately brought home. i yield back. mr. royce: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois who served in the us air force in iraq and afghanistan and calling for air strikes against isis. mr. kinzinger: i thank the chairman for his leadership on this issue for the long time that we have been having to deal with this. i'm surprised -- we watch the news and see what's happening overseas and from afar and see the human tragedy that's occurring and we are here
debating a resolution to withdraw all military actions from the middle east at a time when we see utter human tragedies. this is not the time to halt military operations. i would like to speak out quickly on an issue that underlines this whole debate. there are some that believe that if our foreign policy was simply nicer, if our foreign policy was more accommodating and less focused on military power then our enemies would view america in a much different light or we would be facing problems that we are today, or we wouldn't be facing them at all. this is disengagement in the world and represents at best a naive world view and it is certainly an illusion. as we debate the merits of this resolution we have a case study in the disengagement. president went against a red
line in syria and he was able to exit and allow assad give up his chemical weapons. when we saw that engagement by the united states, we didn't see a peaceful assad emerge. we saw the same brutal dictator that murdered his own people and continue to be brutal and murdersome. before we withdrew troops completely from iraq, many implord the president to leave a force and we didn't do it. and we have the next generation of al qaeda named isis. but this is what we see. i think it is fine to have a debate about aumf in this chamber and we should. what the president gave us was an aumf and limited the ability of the next president of the united states to fight and destroy isis and i won't be a
party to tying the president's hands. you know, i was in iraq just a few months ago and i saw the human tragedy that occurred. and stood in a refugee camp and a little girl explained to me how her parents were killed by isis and she ran away. and i realize the important role that the united states plays. the unfortunate burden we must bear for world security. mr. speaker, we either stand up and fight isis now or we sit on our knees and cower. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, senior member of the foreign affairs committee mr. brad sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. sherman: i thank the gentleman for yielding.
it is unacceptable that we have not debated in committee and on the floor of this house an aumf and a foreign policy designed to fit current circumstances. designed to fit an assad that has killed nearly 200,000 of his own people designed to fit isis, which either is or isn't a part or a former part of al qaeda. instead, we operate under a resolution passed in the wake of the attacks in 2001. but the resolution before us, i do not think, is the answer to the fact that congress is not debating a new aumf. the reason i rise to oppose it is because i urge members to read it. it says that all forces must be withdrawn in 30 days unless
there is some threat to their security. 30 days. it says that it ends all deployment but it's not clear how it applies to air force operations or naval air operations presumably, we would stop all bombing under all circumstances. how does it apply to the -- to the rights of the president under current law to deploy our forces for 60 to 90 days if there is further outrage from the assad regime? we need a new resolution that is -- that does congress' best job to deal with the circumstances. what we don't need is the idea of blaming obama for everything constitutes a foreign policy strategy. it is the bush administration
that left -- that stalled and left malaki in power. it is malaki that would not allow a resideal force. would we have gone to war if he expelled our forces? i have yet to hear that being blamed by the blame obama side. we cannot leave our troops in a country. the great problem with iraq today is what malaki did to that country and the person who installed malaki was the former president of the united states, president george w. bush. so i look first to the defeat of this resolution. but second, to consideration of a new aumf that focuses on whether we will do anything about assad or only go after
isis whether we will use ground forces, which i oppose or just use our air forces. that debate needs to start in our committee. but this resolution is not an answer. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: the president -- the troops don't have to be withdrawn for six months and the point of this resolution is to force this house to do its job and pass an aumf. if my colleagues are so upset that we haven't debated or voted on an aumf, because you have to -- congress do its job. i yield to mr. o'rourke.
mr. o'rourke: this is the best way to support our service meals and families, and this is to ensure that we have a strategy with defined, achievable goals when we are going to put their lives on the line. and today, i don't know that we have that. do we have a partner in iraq that has the will to fight. do we have the resources necessary across two different battlefields in iraq and syria to achieve the president's goal of degrading defeating and destroying isis? do we have a strategy that's worthy of the loss of even one american service member's life? i think all of those questions are worthy of discussion and debate, a debate that would hopefully lead to an intelligent use of military force with that defined strategy. this is our way of supporting soldiers and their families and
a way that the american people can hold us accountable by making the most important decision that a member of congress can, and that is to put a service member in harm's way. source the judgment and wisdom of the people we represent. if we have that debate and have that vote, will go back to our community and talk to the parents of future service members whose children's lives will be put on the line. i think that is the minimum responsibility we must meet. and i wish an aumf was brought to the floor. but today, this is the only way to get there. for that reason, i will support this. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from indiana, a member of the armed services and the veteran affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. mrs. walorski: i came from a meeting with the secretary of defense and chairman of joint chiefs both agreed that under no circumstance should this house consider this resolution at this time, which is conceivably an immediate withdrawal of our troops from iraq and syria. this causes and they discuss, and immediate risk to our allies and our homeland. we would not be debating this issue if the commander in chief had articulated to the american people. we would not be debating this. but even so mr. chairman, this is dangerous for america, and this is not the way to go on a plan for immediate withdrawal with our allies and with our homeland being at risk. the world's watching today. the world has watched for the last several years of our lack of a foreign policy plan, but today the world is watching to see if this u.s. house is going
to stand together in a bipartisan manner and we ject this resolution and stand together for the safety that we were sworn to stand together and uphold which is the safety of the united states of america. and i ask my colleagues to reject this resolution. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana yields. the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i again yield to mr. sherman of california one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. sherman: i don't want to characterize the resolution. i want to read it. it requires the president of the united states to remove all of our forces, except those needed to protect our diplomatic facilities and no later than the period 30 days, 30 days deping on the date when this concurrent resolution is adopted. that applies to our naval and air forces.
and then goes on to say if the president determines it is not safe to remove forces, he could have an additional period up to the end of this year. that assumes that our ground forces cannot be withdrawn within a 30-day period. our forces are mobile and capable and currently behind the front lines and can indeed leave within 30 days. clause 2 is politicable to a military that is engaged in combat or is immobile. our military is neither. clause one, 30 days beginning on the date when the concurrent resolution is adopted. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back, the gentleman reserves, the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i urge my colleagues to read the resolution, it gives the president through the end of the year if he so chooses, that's what it says.
and i would hope that in six months we could come together and pass an aumf. i would hope that all my colleagues who are complaining theer -- that we don't have an aumf would come together and to something. because it hasn't happened in the first 0 months. we can point fingers all we want but it's not getting done. this is a way to force congress to do its job. it's that simple. this is not about walking away from the conflict in the middle east. this is about making sure that the men and women who serve in the united states congress live up to our constitutional responsibilities and do our job. i'm sorry that so many people think that's a radical idea but we haven't done our job and i think it's a disservice to the men and women who serve on our armed forces and it's a disservice to our members of congress. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. nolan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. nolan: mr. speaker members
of the house one of the great failures of this congress in our time has been the abdication of our responsibility which could not be more clearly defined by our founders for declarations of war. and subsequently resolutions authorizing the use of force. clearly, the time is long overdue for this congress to step up and assume its responsibility for these declarations these seemingly endless wars of choice that are so costly in blood and in treasury. it's time that this congress step up and have that debate on whether or not it is in our interest to continue our involvement in these wars. we need to be presented with a
rationale. we need to be presented with a strategy, or in fact it is time to put an end to them and to bring our troops home. mr. speaker, my fellow colleagues, we owe it to our taxpayers, who have spent trillions of dollars in these ventures, we owe it to our founders who knew and understand the importance of having the congress make these decisions, not executives and we owe it to our troops. it's time to have that resolution debated and decided here or to bring the troops home mr. speaker. and as judge poe would say, and that's the way it is. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from california, one of the co-authors of this resolution, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you very much. let me first thank congressman mcgovern for yielding and for your tireless efforts and leadership. also i'm proud to join with congressman walter jones and mr. mcgovern on this bipartisan resolution. this resolution calls only for the withdrawal of u.s. armed forces from iraq and syria only by the end of the year absent of passage of an authorization for the use of military force against isis. however this resolution is also about reclaiming a fundamental constitutional responsibility. the constitutionally protected right of congress to debate and determine whether and when this
country enters into war. now for the last 10 months, our nation has been fighting yet another war in the middle east. a war that congress has yet authorized or even de-- yet to authorize or even debate. we have been patient. we have given the house leadership plenty of time to develop a strategy to bring up an authorization. when this war again, congressman mcgovern and i began -- wrote asking for a debate and vote. nothing happened. then they said the president had to send an authorization to the house. the president did just that and nothing happened. 10 months since the war began, we've had no real debate and certainly no vote. this is outrageous. let me be clear what we're trying to do with this resolution, this is not about making a political point. this is about forcing congress to take up an authorization for the use of military force by the end of the year to follow through on its constitutional responsibility.
it's about making us do our job. it's unfortunate that we have to do that. the timeline included in this bill gives the leadership of the house six months to bring forward an aumf but the clock is ticking. this last week the president announced he authorized the department of 450 more american troops to train and assist iraqi forces in the fight against isis. members this is textbook mission creep. mr. speaker, we're here to say, enough is enough. after more than a decade of wars in the middle east thousands of u.s. lives and billions of dollars lost, the need for congress to reclaim its war making powers is more critical than ever. members of congress are sent to washington, d.c. to make hard decisions. but in the case of war, congress instead has chosen to duck its responsibilities and let me just say, the 2001 authorization for the use of military force which is a blank check for endless wars has been cited as the authorization for the ongoing war against isis.
that's why of course i voted against it 14 years ago and have introduced legislation every congress to repeal this blank check for endless war. keeping this authorization on the book indefinitely without repealing or repolice station it has allowed congress to avoid its constitutional responsibility to bring up an authorization against isis. from what i remember, we only had one hour of debate in 2001. at least mr. mcgovern we have two hours to debate whether or not to debate an authorization to use force. congress must have a role in how we do our work. and what we're required to do. and that's exactly what this resolution is about. many of us agree that a robust debate and a vote is necessary, long overdue and must take place. during the full committee markup last week of the appropriations bill the defense approach, i offered a sense of congress amendment that simply reaffirmed that congress has a constitutional debate, duty to
debate and determine whether or not to authorize the use of military force against isis. this amendment was adopted with the support of six republicans on the committee. while we may all not agree on what an aumf should look like. we know there's bipartisan agreement around the need for congress to debate on a specific aumf. we need to do our job. we know full well there's no military solution in iraq or syria for that matter that any lasting solution must be settled in the region among warring factions. the american people deserve to know the cost and consequences of this new war and members of congress should represent their constituents by saying yes or no. this resolution is a procedural mechanism, it's unfortunate, again, we have to do this to make us live up to our constitutional job and duty in the matters of war and peace. we need to vote yes on this resolution. it's simple, it's bipartisan, it just requires taos do our jobs,
to exercise our constitutional responsibilities. enough is enough. we cannot allow the american people vf no voice in what is said and what is being done with their taxpayer dollars. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, chairman of the committee on -- mccall, chairman of the committee on homeland security. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. mccal: the resolution before us today -- mr. mccaul: the resolution before us today is dangerous and should be defeated. for months we have been at war against isis. today the secretary of defense testified that, quote, isis is a threat to the homeland because
of its avowed intentions to strike and recruit in this country. isis will be dealt a lasting defeat, end of quote. but this president does not have a strategy to accomplish this. we continue to fight the terrorists with one hand tied behind our back. the only thing worse would be to disengage completely which is exactly what this resolution would do. i recently led a bipartisan delegation to the middle east where i visited iraq. ground zero in the fight against isis, a week before ramadi was overtaken by isis. i spoke with prime minister abadi. unfortunately, the current strategy in my opinion, relies too heavily on the shia militia as a proxy of iranen to defeat isis. we now have over 3,000 american servicemens there to advise and assist the iraqi national military but the president has restricted our ability to take the fight to the enemy because he's more committed to his campaign pledge to end the wars
mt. middle east than he is to ending isis. the president has in fact made the situation more dangerous. his failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement and the complete failure of prime minister malaki to govern effectively created the vacuum that isis now fills. in syria the civil war continues to rage. there, too isis has fill the void. islamic fa that the -- fanatics from over 100 countries have traveled overseas to fight with groups like isis. thousands of these jihaddists carry western passports and can exploit security gaps to return to the west and the homeland where they plot attacks against the united states. meanwhile, iran is actively engaged in both iraq and syria, embedding shia fighters in sue communities in iraq and doing assad's bidding in syria. prime minister netanyahu told our delluation that iran and
isis are competing for the crown of militant islam. this resolution would ensure that iran and isis will continue to dominate in the region while thousands of innocent civilians suffer and die. just as the christians in ifrack they support leaving security in the hands of isis and the iranians. thousand of them would have been killed last summer if it weren't for u.s. air strikes to repeal -- repel and isis advancement against them. nothing could be more irresponsible or damaging to our interests. let me say this to those who say this is a vote to urge an aumf vote. i personally support a strong aumf and authorization. one to defeat and destroy isis. we met the white house council he, presented a very different aumf that would restrict further the president's current abilities to destroy and defeat isis. i cannot support that. and this resolution, with all due respect is the wrong way to accomplish the goal of defeating
isis through a strong authorized use of military force. with that mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield two minutes to my new york friend and colleague, mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this resolution and i commend the sponsors, mr. mcgovern and ms. lee, for introducing it. i do sot not -- i do so not because i necessarily think we should withdraw our troops in six months, maybe we should, i'm not sure yet. but i do know we are waging a war that is probably unconstitutional. as we did in libya. since world war ii, we have time after time gotten away from the constitutional command that congress shall declare war. the found -- the framers said,
no, war is too important to allow one person, the president, to decide on it. but we gotten away from that. we've gotten away from it because we didn't have time, that was the excuse, with the missiles flying over, you couldn't call congress into session. then came iraq. we had a resolution for the use of military force. then came libya. plenty of time to consult with nato plenty of time to consult with ashe countries no, time to consult with congress. i believe that was unconstitution -- and foolish as it turns out -- but unconstitutional use of force. now we have the middle east. in iraq and syria, we're get manager and more into the war. i'm not commenting on the intelligence of that right now. it may be we have no choice but to fight isis. it may be, as the republicans seem to want without saying so, we should have a lot of boots on the ground, buzz that's what they mean when they say the president is doing it halfway. or maybe the bigger threat is
iran and we should turn our attentions to iran instead of passively alying with iran against isis. or maybe we should say it's up to the middle eastern people they can handle it and pull our troops out altogether. that's debate we need what are the limits? congress ought to make these decisions in the name of the american people, not the president. because we haven't had an aumf on the floor, we must have this resolution. this resolution is not intended to pull out in six months -- can i have an additional minute? mr. engel: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: this resolution is not intended to force a pullout in six months but debate. let us do our job and if the president submitted an aumf that is too strong or too weak, bring up a different one. it's our job to make those
decisions and stand before our constituents and say this is important enough to go to war with isis or iran and send more troops there or not and here's why and here are the limitations. we shouldn't have boots on the grouped or should. that's our decision to make. we have had 10 years of war -- 13 years of war. we thought we were voting for three weeks of strikes against bases in afghanistan. the 2002 aumf was to topple saddam hussein. he's gone. the consequences are not over. we ought to debate this. pass one or not. that's our decision, but pass this resolution to force that decision on us. i thank you and yield become. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield three
minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis. mr. lewis: i rise in strong support of this resolution. let me thank the gentleman from massachusetts and the gentlewoman from karl, ms. lee and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for their tireless leadership on this issue. thank you mr. mcgovern. for 14 i don't know long years our nation has been at war. people are sick and tired of war. this resolution simply opens the doors to bring american soldiers home. let me be clear. we must maintain a strong national defense. we have a responsibility to protect our borders, our diplomats and americans at home and abroad. but this is not through a barrel
of a gun. no bombs cannot eradicate the seeds of hate. over and over again, i have stood on this very floor and reminded my colleagues that the use of force cannot, must not be taken lightly especially when the needs at home are so great and the sea of terrorism is so bad. president kennedy once said, those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make a violent revolution inevitable. many of those share my concern that young people in the middle east would never forget the violence that they have experienced in their youth.
i fear then and i will say again, they will grow up hating our children, our grandchildren and generations yet unborn. those young people who have little faith in democracy and value of inclusion for the hope of lasting peace. hate against hate violence begets violence, toughness against a greater toughness and we must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. these young people must be our focus. we must lift them and listen to the voices for peace. we must demonstrate democracy is the most effective reference against terrorism. our people are sick and tired of
war. i hope that all of my colleagues will support this resolution and vote yes the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield three minutes to the the gentlewoman from from the district of columbia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes. ms. norton: i thank my good friend from new york for yielding to me. i have something special to say.
as the united states has increasingly drifted into war without the usual congressional authorization, i appreciate that today's resolution permits the house to assert its appropriate role. i only ask that the residents of the district of columbia be permitted to be heard in the same way as other americans. although my colleagues will not only speak today, they will vote the will of their constituents today. although district residents are already serving in iraq, syria and elsewhere i am limited to speaking without a vote. what an outrage, especially to our veterans. that outrage is amplified considering that district residents pay $12,000 annually
per capita more in federal taxes than the residents of any state in the union, to support our government in war and in peace. regardless of what is decided on this resolution mr. speaker district residents will be there for america, as they have been for a war ever since the nation was created. it is time that congress was there for district residents. nearly 200,000 d.c. residents have fought for america's freedom in time of war yet residents including our d.c. veterans are still denied a vote in the national legislature that sends them to war. in fact d.c. service members fought and won the vote for citizens in iraq and afghanistan, yet our veterans
came home without the same voting rights for themselves. the nation willingly accepts their sacrifices and demands their tax dollar but denies them representation in this congress. d.c. residents have not only given their lives for the country since its creation as a nation, they have died in disproportionate numbers. and all of the 20th century wars. yet these veterans, among the 650,000 who live in the district of columbia still have no vote on national security no vote on defense spending, no vote on the decision to send our country to war no vote on anything in this house. mr. speaker, i protest.
i protest continuing to -- could i have 10 seconds? mr. engel: yield the gentlewoman for an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i protest, mr. speaker. i protest continuing to demand full citizenship from the residents of your nation's capital while denying them the vote granted to all other americans that come with those costs. thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank my friend for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. sanford: i thank the chair and i thank my colleague from massachusetts for offering this important proposal.
i'm a republican who stands with this democrat because he is hitting the nail on the head. and i do so in this instance, it has been argued against as a blunt instrument. but what the founding fathers were very blunt about, if you will, was that only congress had the ability to declare war. and so this blunt instrument is ultimately about backing up the bluntness of the constitution and absolutely being declaretive in suggesting that only congress has the power to authorize war. and what the founding fathers knew was that at the end of the day, body bags don't come back to washington, d.c. when something goes wrong in some far off battlefield. they come back to congressional districts. they wanted a check and balance where people from the local districts could report and say this is or isn't working for
folks back home. again the funding fathers were so blunt. i look at a document that is 250 days beyond the war powers act. i look at the administration of the congress that is hinging its building and sustaining of war in the middle east, based on a 14-year-old document, in essence a blank check and there are no blank checks in this process. i look at what james madison said. he said the constitutions supposes that the history of all government demonstrates, and that is the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. it has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the legislature. this proposal is about cost. it's about saying we have spent $2.5 trillion in the middle east. the harvard study says $6 trillion. we need to stop and pause not
necessarily to bring back troops -- may i have 30 seconds? not necessarily to bring troops home but to force a debate in congress' role. this is something that we ought to care about. do we or don't we have proper lanes in the channel? this is something republicans absolutely ought to care about. and for that reason, i commend the gentleman from massachusetts for his work on this and ask that this bill, which is so important which is simply congress' authorization of war effort. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i would like to ask unanimous consent to insert in the record some letters of
support from the constitution project, which is signed by our former colleague signed by mickey edwards, a letter in support of this resolution is the council of the liveable world and a letter of support from the friends committee on national legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: we have one additional speaker who's not here yet. so let me reserve my time and see whether anybody else wants to say something. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts has 6.5 minutes. mr. mcgovern: i will then close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker i have great respect for the
gentleman from california and the gentleman from new york. i know if it were left up to them they could fashion an aumf and get 218 votes. and quite frankly we wouldn't be here today if we had done our job, and the way you can bring up a privileged resolution is if our troops are in harm's way. this could end right now if the speaker of the house or the majority leader would give us a date certain by which we could debate and vote on an aumf. i'm deeply troubled by our policy in iraq and syria and isn't a defined mission and might be more of the same. i'm not convinced that we will end the violence in the region, defeat the islamic state. but regardless of whether you support the war or oppose the war, believe we should escalate our involvement or place restrictions on it, the bottom
line is that congress needs to debate an aumf and vote on it. that's our duty. that's our job. and if we don't have the guts to do so then we should at least have the decency to bring our families home. i hope each member of this house before they come down to this floor to vote on this resolution takes a minute to look in the mirror and ask yourself, why do we get to go home to our families when our troops don't have that privilege. they have been sent to iraq and syria and fight in our name, but we don't have the courage to stand up to them and to authorize the war and we don't have the guts to bring them home. take a minute to ask we are willing to send our troops into danger and spends billions upon billions of board money for this war but not willing to carry out our constitutional duty the same constitution we keep asking our troops to put their lives on
the line to protect. how can we keep asking them to sacrifice for us? i had colleagues come up and say, we share your frustration over the fact we have not debated and voted on an aumf, and i appreciate that, but i would ask them, what in the world can we do in a bipartisan way to force this question to come to the floor? what is it going to take to get the leadership of this house to say we are going to schedule an aumf, we're going to debate it and vote on it? we've been involved in this latest war for over 10 months. our resolution would give them another six months to come up with an aumf, and if they didn't, then we bring our troops home. you know, the resolution before us, i admit, is a bit of a blunt instrument, but if congress had lived up to its responsibilities we wouldn't need to be so blunt. congress needs a clear deadline
for a debate on an aumf for iraq and syria. that deadline is the withdrawal of our troops by the end of this year. it gives this house, it gives this republican leadership six entire months to get an aumf enacted. it gives this house and this leadership six more months in which to simply do their job. so a vote for this resolution is not a vote to pull out, as some have asserted. it's a vote to give house republican leadership a deadline that they cannot ignore, to force them to do their duty as leaders of this house by finally bringing an aumf to the floor for a vote. i heard some of my colleagues complain that they don't like the president's policy in iraq and syria, and yet rather than trying to bring an aumf to the floor to define that policy better they're simply content to sit back and criticize from the sidelines. that's not what we're here to do. that's not what -- that's not
our job. this is important stuff. war is a big deal. we ought to treat it like it's a big deal. war has become too easy for this congress and i see no other way to force this issue than by supporting this resolution before us. so i urge my colleagues to vote in support of house concurrent resolution 55, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: let me first of all conclude the way i began. i want to commend my friend and colleague, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for raising this issue. it's an issue that has to be raised. i am in sympathy with many of the things that he said. so i don't really think we are
really disagreeing here. we're just agreeing on tactics. as i've said, the intentions behind this resolution are commendable, but i cannot support this policy which when you all boil everything down would require a straight withdrawal without conditions. and that is not the right policy for this country, a straight withdrawal without conditions. i share my colleague's frustration that we haven't acted on a new aumf. we need to pass a aumf, but we need to pass a right aumf. if we pass this resolution, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will be pushed to pass their own language overriding this measure. what will it look like? i'd wage that it won't include the limitations that many of us on this side would like to see. worse still, we could just rubber stamp the argument that the 2001 aumf applies to isis in 2015. again, that's why i said we have to be careful we don't caught off our nose to spite
our face. and the president sent us an aumf. i thought it was a good starting point. i know it was panned on both sides. republicans thought it was too light. democrats thought it was too harsh but it was a good starting point. there are many things in an aumf we need to consider. we need to consider time, geography. we need to consider what we do with the previous aumfs. these are issues that should be debated and i hope we will debate, but i think the white house put forth a good starting position. now, the american people expect us to do our job and pass a new aumf. they expect us to keep the united states out of another large-scale open-ended war and pass a responsible policy for degrading and defeating isis. voting for withdrawal is not the right way forward. i believe that with all my heart. let's vote down this resolution, go back to the drawing board. chairman royce and i will work together in a bipartisan way as we have so many times in the
past. let's put before this congress the right policy to get this job done. so i urge my colleagues to oppose the resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields even when we agree with substance, i've worked with him on policies with respect to human rights in africa and frankly across the world on many many issues and i agree that an aumf would be good but only the right aumf. but i would make this point. the white house hasn't helped the case to move an aumf. indeed, as soon as the president sent up his draft aumf text to the congress in february, the white house said
he has all the legal authority he needs to conduct these operations regardless of what the congress does undercutting our effort to build a consensus. but we should not give up in terms of our effort to build this consensus, and to that end i intend to continue to work with mr. engel and others and craft a bipartisan and successful aumf that sends a message of unity, that sends a message of resolve. and to that end i would point out that the committee has held seven full committee hearings and nine subcommittee oversight hearings on the isis threat. we've discussed the aumf. we've discussed the u.s. and coalition response, but given the wide range of views including the view that we have no military business in iraq reaching an agreement on a
bipartisan aumf that authorizes the actions needed to defeat isis may not be possible. but it may be possible, and for that reason we are going to redouble our effort. there would, though, be a price paid for failure on this floor signaling disunity. and as we work towards the effort to build a consensus, we have passed legislation to directly arm the iraqi kurdish force who is are fighting isis on the ground. we have worked to strengthen to help prevent americans who join the fight for isis from returning home to the homeland. we passed that legislation and to combat the cultural genocide being perpetrated by isis forces. and as i say, we will continue to work with our colleagues to
try to find a way forward on a revised and updated authorization focused on the vicious and growing threat posed by isis. but acting without a credible way forward would be fool hearty not brave. a divisive and unsuccessful process would be perceived by our allies, our partners and our enemies as a no confidence vote in the fight against isis resulting in a significant blow to the national security of this country. and for that reason i would ask members to contemplate for a moment what the world would look like should isis -- should our forces, our air strikes against isis be pulled out of that region. because i remember what it
looked like when they didn't have air strikes before they went into mosul and members of our committee in a bipartisan sense called for airpower to be used against isis on that desert path as they were headed to mosul. and here is what we saw when they took that city. mass killings, beheadings, abductions, forced conversions, torture, rape, sexual assault, using women and children as human shields, people being burned alive and buried alive, women and girls the age of 13 being taken as captive to be sold as sex slaves to put into force marriages with isis fighters. that is what we witnessed after the fall of that great city. and the question -- the question i would ask is that if we are to abandon our air strikes in support of these kurdish units on that 600-mile front 50,000 of those troops
are women fighting against isis and they no longer have u.s. air support to support them in their effort to turn back isis, what will become of them? what will become of others? because this is simply no longer a terrorist organization. it is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the tyingress and euphrates valley in what is -- tigres and euphrates valley in what is now lebanon and seek to expand that further. we know a lot now about its leader, abu bagdadi in syria. ess a designated global terrorist under u.s. law. his mission, he clearly states, if you want to go online and see the blueprint of isis and part of that is to gain resources in recruits and create a safe haven to attack
the united states. so yes, this certainly goes to the direct security interest of the united states if we were to pull off and give a breather to him and to isis. in iraq, we are taking less than half measures to assist the i.s.f., the forces fighting isis, with insufficient trainers and advisors, as i said, with no forward air controllers with insufficient plans to train the sunni tribes and insufficient arms to the kurds and sunnis something we are trying to do with our legislation. the balance of power in the middle east is shifting against the u.s. regional interest and certainly against u.s. security. as stated, there are no simple answers or solutions. we discussed this in this debate, but without our involvement, without our involvement our adversaries will continue to be embolden, our friends out of fear are susceptible to poor decisions
while the middle east region and the world becomes a more dangerous place. so this organization isis, is simultaneously a strategic threat to the region and to the world and a genocidal terror movement. and i recall us saying on the floor of this house, never again with respect to genocidal terror, and we are watching genocidal terror. so i would just close with this argument, mr. speaker and that is let's work together to get an authorization for use of military force, which the president already claims he has under the prior authorization we gave to attack -- for him to attack al qaeda and any al qaeda affiliate but let us not pull out our airpower that is being used right now to slow
the advance of isis as it tries to take >> the new congressional directory is a guide to the new congress, with color photos of senate and house members, plus bio and twitter information. district maps, a full map of capitol hill, and congressional committees, the president's cabinet, federal agencies and state governors. order your copy today, it is $13 a-day five cents plus shipping and handling through the c-span online store at c-span.org. >> today on c-span, "washington journal," is live next. then live coverage of the u.s. house. members vote on granting the president trade promotional authority, and will consider the bills on the affordable care act. we talk about the military
mission in iraq, and trade policy with congresswoman vicky hartzler. a discussion of the strategy against isis, and student loan debt with congressman joe courtney. host: did morning it's thursday june 18th, 2015. the military effort in iraq and syria was the focus of debate as the house voted down a resolution that would have withdrawn u.s. forces from that engagement unless congress used military force against isis. the trade debate will be front and center in the house as president oh bema'am and congressional leaders again try to move a bill. we'll get to those stories but we begin this morning on the "washington journal" by op