[Pages H4455-H4471]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




       REMOVAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ AND SYRIA

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the order of the House of 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, I call up the concurrent resolution (H. Con. 
Res. 55) directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War 
Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to 
Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces 
required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, 
from Iraq and Syria, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, the concurrent resolution is considered read.
  The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 55

       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring),

[[Page H4456]]

     SECTION 1. REMOVAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ 
                   AND SYRIA.

       Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 
     U.S.C. 1544(c)), Congress directs the President to remove 
     United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or 
     after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces required to 
     protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, 
     from Iraq and Syria--
       (1) by no later than the end of the period of 30 days 
     beginning on the day on which this concurrent resolution is 
     adopted; or
       (2) if the President determines that it is not safe to 
     remove such United States Armed Forces before the end of that 
     period, by no later than December 31, 2015, or such earlier 
     date as the President determines that the Armed Forces can 
     safely be removed.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The concurrent resolution shall be debatable 
for 2 hours equally divided among and controlled by Representative 
Royce of California, Representative Engel of New York, and 
Representative McGovern of Massachusetts or their respective designees.
  The gentleman from California (Mr. Royce), the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel), and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) 
each will control 40 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to submit statements or extraneous materials 
for the Record on this measure.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H. Con. Res. 55. But while I am 
opposed to this resolution, I do want to commend its author, Mr. 
McGovern, for his constant and principled attention to the issue of 
U.S. military engagement in Iraq and Syria and the role of Congress in 
making this decision. These are some of the most important and 
challenging issues that we face and that we struggle with as an 
institution.
  I know the gentleman from Massachusetts is frustrated. I have 
listened to him on the floor of the House. In many ways, I share his 
frustrations. ISIS is making too many gains. Critical cities have 
fallen. But this resolution, I believe, would take us in the opposite 
direction of where U.S. policy should be.
  If the United States were to remove all of our forces from the 
theater, as this resolution calls for, ISIS would surely grow stronger. 
ISIS would surely accelerate on a process of decimating all in its 
path, placing women under brutal oppression and, I have no doubt, 
further strengthening their position and further threatening our 
European allies and even the U.S. homeland. More battlefield victories 
would support ISIS propaganda, which would support its recruitment, 
which would make it more deadly by the day.
  Mr. Speaker, no one is eager for this commitment, but ISIS is on the 
march; and this radical jihadist group is taking more territory, more 
weapons, and more resources, threatening the government in Baghdad and, 
indeed, threatening to destabilize this entire critical region.
  Now, H. Con. Res. 55 calls for the unilateral withdrawal of U.S. 
forces from the fight against ISIS, halting all U.S. strikes against 
the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. It would also leave ISIS 
unchecked--not only unchecked by U.S. airpower, but it would allow this 
brutal terrorist group, as I say, to gain strength, to destabilize the 
critical region, and to create a safe haven from which ISIS can plot 
attacks against the United States.

                              {time}  1330

  H. Con. Res. 55 has nothing to do with authorizing the use of 
military force against ISIS but would unilaterally withdraw U.S. forces 
from the fight.
  Last year, debating another Iraq measure offered by Mr. McGovern, I 
said: ``Never has a terrorist organization itself controlled such a 
large, resource-rich safe haven as ISIS does today. Never has a 
terrorist organization possessed the heavy weaponry, the cash, the 
personnel that ISIS does today, which includes thousands of Western 
passport holders.''
  Well, unfortunately, it is worse today. 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's 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 Shia 
Muslims and fellow Sunnis who do not share their radical beliefs, but 
against vulnerable religious and ethnic minorities. As one witnessed 
testified to the Foreign Affairs Committee the other day: ``We cherish 
ethnic and religious diversity. ISIS hates it.'' And they hate in some 
of the most brutal ways possible.
  Mr. Speaker, many Americans may not realize that Iraq and Syria are 
home to dozens of ethnic and religious minorities, with ancient 
cultures with very deep roots. These communities--Assyrian and Chaldean 
Christians, Yazidis, Alawites, and many others--are under mortal threat 
in their ancestral homelands.
  The mass execution of men, the enslavement of women and young girls 
as concubines, and the destruction of religious sites is part of the 
ISIS effort to destroy these communities. Their plan is to make it as 
if those societies never existed, those religions in that area never 
existed. In fact, ISIS maintains a special battalion--they call it the 
``demolition battalion''--charged with obliterating religious and 
historic sites and artifacts that it considers heretical.
  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 offshore, are foreign fighters drawn to the 
area from some 90 countries. Those are 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 
are in the lead. But they desperately need help. And I am not prepared 
to say that we shouldn't be providing any military support to the Kurds 
strung along a 180-mile, or several hundred mile, front, with 180,000 
soldiers. Thirty percent 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 and any air support whatsoever. That is 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. First it headed to Fallujah, and there was a call to use air 
power to suppress and use 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 air power, 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 airstrikes against the Islamic State are one-sixth of what they 
were in the first campaign against the Taliban back in 2001. U.S. 
Special Forces should be authorized to call in airstrikes. Most 
Americans would be puzzled to learn that Canadian Special Forces are 
doing this, but we are not.
  Pilots complain of having their hands tied. It has been estimated 
that three-quarters 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 Obama administration has been systematically 
squandering our air power advantage.'' I think that is right.
  Adding to the problem, the regional forces on the ground that these 
airstrikes are supposed to be supporting

[[Page H4457]]

are badly undersupplied. After 10 months of fighting, there are still 
too many reports that the Kurdish Peshmerga, our allies, are outgunned 
on the front lines against ISIS. I have met with their foreign minister 
three times now as he has made this case. Again, 30 percent of his 
battalions, Kurdish battalions, are female battalions, and they can't 
obtain the antitank 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 behind the front lines. Rather than pairing up with smaller units 
and deploying with them to push them to the front--and that is, by the 
way, a technique that has proven effective in Afghanistan and Iraq in 
the past--this has not been done. U.S. advisers are unable to bolster 
Iraqi units when they come under attack or to call in airstrikes 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 air power like we should, getting those weapons to 
the front lines that are needed by the Kurds, putting more U.S. Special 
Forces into place, would help turn this around.
  But that is not at all what this measure calls for. As I say, it is 
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 
instability in the region. We haven't heard any witnesses 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. But 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 H. Con. Res. 55.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in opposition to H. Con. Res. 55.
  Let me first say that I believe Congress needs to do its job and pass 
an AUMF, which is the Authorization for 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 is 
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 have 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 is 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 5 years when the next 
administration does the same thing and 5 years after that and 5 years 
after that? We didn't vote for perpetual war, and we need a new AUMF.
  We cannot allow that outcome. With a new AUMF, I hope it will be a 
bipartisan effort. I hope it will be the 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 withdraw. 
I believe that would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
  The United States has already made a difference by supporting the 
Iraqis and the Syrians who are fighting ISIS. It is a difficult fight, 
but I don't think we can walk away.
  With American leadership, we were able to prevent a wholesale 
slaughter of Yazidi people. With American help, our Iraqi partners were 
able to maintain control of the Mosul Dam, which, if breached by ISIS, 
could have resulted in the death and displacement of up to 2 million 
people. With American assistance, the Iraqi Security Forces and the 
moderate Syrian opposition are taking back territory, too slowly, but 
they are 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 
is no good side in Syria. We have got to somehow let the Free Syrian 
Army or the rebels, the well-vetted moderate rebels, we have got to 
help them, and that is why I believe there is still a role for us to 
play. A precipitous withdrawal by turning our heads away because we are 
fed up and disgusted, I think, is not the right move.
  So this fight is 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 is the measure I will support.
  I, again, do want to thank Mr. McGovern for bringing this issue to 
the floor. He is a thoughtful, effective colleague. And while I 
appreciate his resolution, I commend him for focusing this Congress on 
this important issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1345

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 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 has failed to carry 
out its constitutional duty to authorize our military engagement in 
Iraq and Syria.
  Last August, the President authorized airstrikes 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 4 months ago, the President sent to 
Congress the text for an Authorization for Use of Military Force on 
combating the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere; yet Congress 
has failed to act on that AUMF or to 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 spending billions of dollars for the arms, equipment, and 
airpower to carry out these wars, but it just can't bring itself to 
step up to the plate and take responsibility for these wars.

[[Page H4458]]

  Our servicemen and -women are brave and dedicated. Congress, however, 
is guilty of moral cowardice. The Republican leadership of this House 
whines and complains from the sidelines, and all the while, it 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 approves this resolution, Congress 
would still have 6 months in which to do the right thing and bring an 
AUMF before the House and Senate for debate and action--6 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 should come home. It is that simple.
  Two weeks ago, General John Allen, the U.S. envoy for the U.S.-led 
coalition that is fighting ISIL, said that this fight may take ``a 
generation or more.'' According to the Pentagon, we have spent more 
than $2.74 billion in the fight against the Islamic State. That is 
roughly $9.1 million each and every day. We have approximately 3,500 
boots on the ground, and that number is rising.
  If we are going to invest a generation or more of our blood and our 
treasure in this war and if we are 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. We owe that to the oath of office that each of us took 
to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, we are 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. That is true if you only read half of 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 the fight against 
the brutal terror and threat of ISIS. They will claim that it will 
leave ISIS unchecked by U.S. airpower and allow 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 ignore, this resolution 
provides a strong guarantee that Congress will finally do its job, that 
Congress will honor its duty to our troops and to 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 cowardice from the 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, for heaven's sake, 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 is all this resolution is trying to do. Give the leadership of 
this House a deadline that even it can't ignore. Either enact an AUMF 
over the next 6 months or withdraw our forces from Iraq and Syria, one 
or the other.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  Again, the resolution before us today has nothing to do with an 
Authorization for Use of Military Force; it is a withdrawal resolution. 
I don't want to leave some of the oversimplified Authorization for Use 
of Military Force rhetoric here unaddressed.
  The real question that the proponents are begging is: What should the 
United States be doing to combat ISIS? The answer with regard to 
today's resolution would be nothing and that 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 
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, ``has been an enemy of the United States 
within the scope of the 2001 authorization--continuously--since at 
least 2004.'' He has made the case that ISIS grew out of al Qaeda in 
Iraq and, in point of fact, that that is 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 complicating, by 
the way, the effort to reach consensus.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ROYCE. I yield myself an additional 2 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, just last week, this body considered a Defense 
Appropriations amendment 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.

  The reality is that Congress has made decisions that amount to, in 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 will continue to work with Ranking Member Eliot Engel and all 
of our colleagues to see if we can find a way forward on a revised and 
updated authorization that is focused on the vicious and growing threat 
posed by ISIS. That is what we need to be working on together.
  Merely acting without a credible way forward is foolhardy. It is not 
brave. A divisive and unsuccessful AUMF process would be perceived by 
our allies, our partners, and our enemies as a vote of no confidence in 
the fight against ISIS, resulting in a significant blow to the national 
security of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. 
Hartzler), who chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. I thank the chairman.
  Mr. Speaker, while I respect my colleague who offered this amendment, 
I oppose this resolution and urge my colleagues to vote in opposition.
  This unwise resolution would 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 the Kurdish Peshmerga 
critical support to fight against the brutal and barbaric terrorist 
group, leaving them alone to stop this threat.
  This resolution would leave ISIL unchecked by U.S. airpower and allow 
the vicious terrorist group to gain strength as it would further 
destabilize the region by threatening allies, such as Jordan, and 
create a largely uncontested safe haven from which ISIL could plot 
attacks against the United States.
  It would allow the continued brutality of a group that beheads 
innocents, including Americans, that forces women and children into 
sexual slavery, that destroys religious heritage sites, and that 
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.

[[Page H4459]]

  I urge opposition to this resolution.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, again, let me 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 is now my pleasure to yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Connolly).
  Mr. CONNOLLY. I thank my good friend Eliot Engel from New York, the 
distinguished ranking member of the full committee of the House Foreign 
Affairs Committee, and I thank my friend Ed Royce, the chairman of the 
full committee. They are both distinguished men, and I echo their 
sentiments.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in reluctant opposition to the measure 
offered by my friend from my home State of Massachusetts, Mr. McGovern, 
whose 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.
  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 for Use of Military Force 
against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and 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, the retreat from its constitutional 
responsibility on this matter, frankly, is jaw-dropping.
  It is time Congress makes crystal clear to the administration, to our 
allies, to our constituents, and to our military families 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 sort of sword of Damocles 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 cater to such 
a sword hanging over its head in order to do its job. An ill-defined 
mission with no clear mandate and conflicting objectives is hardly a 
formula for a military or a political victory.
  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 proposes, mandated irrespective of battlefield reality, 
of battlefield progress lately against ISIS, a withdrawal mandated 
irrespective of our commitments to the Kurds or, for that matter, to 
the Iraqi Government itself.

                              {time}  1400

  That would be irresponsible and unworthy of a great power, however 
noble the underlying cause is. We have responsibilities on the ground.
  This resolution was drafted, as they say in Latin, ceteris paribus--
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.
  I don't share the distinguished chairman's criticism of this 
administration. It is a 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.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Let me just say to my colleagues, while I appreciate their thoughtful 
statements, this resolution that we are debating here today would have 
no standing if there were an AUMF. We wouldn't even be allowed to bring 
this to the floor.
  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 here to bring to the floor an AUMF so we can do our job? 
That is all we are asking for. And, yes, this is a blunt instrument to 
do it, but I don't know what else it will take to force this issue. I 
think we owe it to our servicemen and -women to have this debate and to 
have this vote.
  I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones), a 
cosponsor of this resolution.
  Mr. JONES. I thank Mr. McGovern for the time.
  Mr. Speaker, as many people have said today, even those who are for 
the resolution and against the resolution, we have a constitutional 
duty. That duty is to debate. I want to quote James Madison, to put the 
context on what we are trying to say today: ``The power to declare war, 
including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and 
exclusively 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 is why Mr. McGovern, 
Barbara Lee, and I have put this resolution in today, to force a 
debate. 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 an Authorization for Use of 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 a vote to avoid bringing it up during a lame duck session. Okay, I 
can accept that, that makes good sense. It does.
  In December, Speaker Boehner said the House Republicans would work 
with the President to get an AUMF request approved if the President 
sent one to Congress. As Mr. McGovern just said, he did send us one in 
February. Most people--Democrat and Republican--didn't particularly 
like what was in the AUMF, but at least it was the vehicle for the 
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, 
Barbara Lee, and I sent another letter to the Speaker of the House 
asking for a debate. Nothing happened. That is the reason this 
resolution is on the floor. It is 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 this country.
  As has been said before me, it has been 314 days since President 
Obama started launching airstrikes and putting troops in Iraq and Syria 
without receiving the authorization by Congress. According to the 
Pentagon, we have spent over $9 million a day fighting ISIS, 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, is fully and exclusively vested 
in the legislature.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Collins of New York). The time of the 
gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
North Carolina.
  Mr. JONES. In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that 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 a transport 
plane in Dover, Delaware, and it is time that we meet our obligation 
and debate this issue of war because we are not doing our job. We owe 
it to the American people, to the Constitution, and to those who wear 
the uniform.
  I thank Mr. McGovern for the time.


[[Page H4460]]




                                     The Constitution Project,

                                    Washington, DC, June 17, 2015.
     Hon. Jim McGovern,
     House of Representatives,
     Hon. Walter Jones,
     House of Representatives,
     Hon. Barbara Lee,
     House of Representatives,
       Dear Representatives McGovern, Jones and Lee: We write to 
     applaud you for your efforts to compel Congress to exercise 
     its constitutional responsibility to decide on war. For ten 
     months President Obama has prosecuted the war against the 
     Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) under a specious 
     legal claim that Congress authorized it fourteen years ago. 
     Congress has done no such thing. It is high time that Members 
     weighed in.
       We take no position on grave policy choices about whether 
     to continue to use military force against ISIL, and if so 
     how. But Congress must. The Framers vested the war power in 
     the legislative branch precisely because they believed that 
     young Americans should only be put in harm's way when the 
     people, through their representatives' collective judgment, 
     approved it.
       We know this is the most difficult issue that Members face. 
     It is also your most important responsibility. If Congress 
     agrees that U.S. service men and women should be engaged in 
     battle, it is Members' constitutional duty to say so. If 
     Congress disagrees, those men and women should come home. 
     What Congress cannot do is continue to avoid the question. We 
     support H. Con. Res. 55 because it would force this long-
     overdue debate and vote.
       Please do not hesitate to contact us, via Scott Roehm at 
     The Constitution Project, with any questions or concerns.
           Sincerely,
     Mickey Edwards,
       Vice President, Aspen Institute; former Member of Congress 
     (R-OK) and Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee; 
     co-chair The Constitution Project War Powers Committee
     Louis Fisher,
       Specialist in Constitutional Law, Law Library of Congress 
     (ret.); Scholar in Residence, The Constitution Project
     Virginia Sloan,
       President, The Constitution Project.

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from South 
Carolina (Mr. Wilson), a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities of 
the Committee on Armed Services.
  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. I thank Chairman Royce for his 
leadership, along with Ranking Member Eliot Engel.
  I am in opposition to H. Con. Res. 55, which would withdraw U.S. 
forces currently deployed to Iraq and Syria, which are providing 
regional stability to protect American families. Sadly, this resolution 
will undermine America's current campaign to fight terrorists overseas. 
It would end our air campaign in Iraq and Syria, stop our training and 
equipping of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni tribal forces, as well 
as moderate Syrian opposition forces, and abandon our commitment to our 
partners in the region.
  The resolution would promote ISIS/Daesh's momentum, create safe 
havens for terrorists to attack American families, and increase the 
Tehran regime's influence of a murderous ideology that declares: Death 
to America, death to Israel. It would allow Daesh to become an even 
bigger threat to American families, as we have seen with attacks from 
New York to Boston. Retreating will create safe havens to enable more 
attacks on American families. We must remember September the 11th in 
the global war on terrorism. Unilateral withdrawal will not stop the 
war, as our enemies will continue their attacks.
  The resolution does not consider the situation on the ground in Iraq 
or Syria or the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Indeed, 
this morning, Chairman Martin Dempsey said that withdrawing the troops 
would be a mistake and put America at greater risk.
  As the grateful dad of two sons who have served in Iraq, I would 
prefer a clear strategy of victory for our mission in Iraq and Syria. 
We should not abandon the efforts of peace through strength. I want to 
work with Members across the aisle to develop a better approach. It is 
my hope we will take steps to accomplish this.
  While Operation Inherent Resolve has shortcomings, it is the only 
course of action that takes steps toward stopping jihadist extremists 
overseas. I am opposed to House Concurrent Resolution 55 and urge my 
colleagues to vote against it as well.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Brendan F. Boyle), a rising star on the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. I thank the ranking member and 
also the chair of our committee. I also want to thank the sponsor and 
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.
  Mr. Speaker, before I entered this body, when I was a State 
legislator and a candidate, I noticed back last August-September, as 
the ISIS/Daesh movement was growing in Iraq and Syria and other parts 
of the Middle East, the British Parliament rushed back to London to 
debate a war resolution. I was deeply 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 Committee on Foreign Affairs, of 
which I am proudly a member, an Authorization for Use of Military 
Force. Unfortunately, that AUMF, somewhat predictably, got attacked by 
some on the right as insufficient in some areas; and, frankly, got 
attacked by some on the left as insufficient in other areas. Both sides 
had legitimate discussions and concerns.
  What went wrong after that is that we didn't actually have that 
discussion or debate right here on the House floor. It was too easy for 
Members of this body to just say: This is too difficult; we are going 
to let the President handle it, and we are going to shirk our 
responsibility. That is wrong.
  Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. I do not support the resolution that is 
in front of us and will not be voting for it. I think an outright 
withdrawal of troops within the next 6 weeks would be a terrible 
mistake and is not the approach that we should take, but I do believe 
it is 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 5 and 10 years down 
the road responsibilities that we do not envision today.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Rangel), who believes Congress ought to do its job and 
pass an AUMF.
  (Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. McGovern, Mr. Jones, Ms. Lee, I thought the House 
would be screaming at the opportunity to justify sending young men and 
women to a part of the world that we believe is of danger to the entire 
community.
  I am 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, who have 
been fighting each other for thousands of years, are a threat to my 
Nation's national security. I don't know of any of my constituents that 
go to sleep at night worried about ISIS invading their jobless 
community.
  I do know--because I am 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 dies, when

[[Page H4461]]

they lose their lives, when we send them overseas, when they come back 
wounded or deranged, we have an obligation in this body to justify why 
we have 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 are sending all over the world and exposing them to losing their 
lives. 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 they were there? Do we 
explain that the President of the United States and the Members of this 
House believe it is important for them to be there? 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. We don't pay for the war.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. RANGEL. I conclude by saying that, when issues are serious enough 
for us to draft other people's kids, when they are serious enough for 
us to say that we are not 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 is being 
threatened, you count me in.
  Until such time, we are waiting to hear about the threat to our 
national security so that we can make up our minds.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Zeldin), a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, only in Congress do you have a resolution 
presented to deauthorize the use of force because you want to authorize 
the use of force.
  It is, quite frankly, pretty insulting that you would present a 
proposal to this body to withdraw troops and then accuse the other side 
of having moral cowardice for opposing the resolution.
  There needs to be more mention of the President's strategy to defeat 
ISIS--or lack thereof. We have a duty here in Congress to set our 
troops up to succeed, not to fail.
  There has been a lot of debate with regard to the Authorization for 
Use of Military Force. I am proud to serve on the Foreign Affairs 
Committee. Chairman Royce has had multiple hearings discussing the 
Authorization for Use of Military Force.
  Secretary Kerry was before the committee. He was asked: ``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 Forces. We can't get a 
straight answer from this administration as to whether or not he is 
referring to ours.
  Yes, we have a duty to set our troops up to succeed, and not fail. We 
had a Marine general in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee. When 
asked whether or not the general in charge of our troops overseas in 
Iraq has the ability to authorize the mission to take out Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi or capture actionable intelligence, he read a paragraph that 
simply said that that general can make a recommendation.
  What is 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 Commander in 
Chief, my constituents--Americans--don't even know that gentleman's 
name.
  Yes, there has been a lot of debate. We have a need to protect our 
troops. That is why I oppose this resolution.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Let me just reiterate that 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, and we are told 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 is more than possible the 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, 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 6 months. I hope we can get 
together and do that--and we should--and that is why I think this 
debate is good; but I think passing any AUMF is like buying a pig in a 
poke, and I am not ready to go down that line.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, we should have passed an AUMF before we 
got into this latest war. We have been at it for 10 months. We are 
asking Congress to do its job in the next 6 months. How much longer do 
we want?
  I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Massie).
  Mr. MASSIE. I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts for yielding.
  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. Beside the objection to such a mixture of 
     heterogeneous powers, the trust and the temptation would be 
     too great for any one man . . . War is in fact the true nurse 
     of executive aggrandizement. 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 this propensity of its influence.

  That was a warning that he gave us. Unfortunately, after being in 
this conflict for several years without an authorization from Congress, 
we have devolved into the dystopian 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 are debating here is when to have the 
Authorization for Use of Military Force or a declaration of war. The 
time to have that was 2 years ago. It was years ago, before the 
President acted.
  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 are 
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.
  I just want to remind my colleagues this is a strategy, this is a 
parliamentary tactic that is necessary to force the debate, and let's 
have the debate.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas, Judge Poe, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on 
Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
  Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, 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 with connections to 
my district who have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, of all races, 
both sexes, and all branches of the service. Here we are, years later, 
and we are still there.
  I am also concerned about this group 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 
even the barbarians did.
  ISIS wants to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. It wants to 
kill us in the United States. They have made that clear.
  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: Are they a national security threat? If yes, go after them; if

[[Page H4462]]

not, then do something else. Meanwhile, people of all nations are 
dying.
  I believe that ISIS will continue as long as there is not someone to 
stop them. It is in our national security interest to defeat them. The 
United States needs to have a plan. People of all nations are dying. 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 now. This bill is not the 
answer to doing that. Passing this legislation weakens us and weakens 
our national security. I oppose it.
  And that is just the way it is.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Frankel).
  Ms. FRANKEL of Florida. Mr. Speaker, this debate is personal to me. I 
watched my son Ben, then a proud United States marine, being sent off 
to two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq. My family was blessed; he returned 
safely.
  Both sides of the aisle know the price of the battle: too many 
killed, too many deeply scarred, too many lives of loved ones 
disrupted, trillions of dollars spent, and the reputation of our 
country at stake--sometimes for good reasons and sometimes in tragic 
error.
  I will agree with those who say that, when terror strikes in the 
world, it is our concern and it does require our leadership. There are 
times when we must risk brave lives to save many more. 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. 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.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Garamendi).
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution is clear: Congress, and Congress alone, shall have the 
power to declare war.
  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.
  The President says he has the authorization under the 2001 and 2002 
authorizations. Ambiguity, clearly, is present. I disagree with the 
President on those as an authorization. I have 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 have had a few committee hearings, but no real action. 
Leadership in both Houses has refused to schedule votes on this issue, 
either in committee or on the floor. That is unacceptable.
  We have already run up significant costs, $2.7 billion on operations 
to continue the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. We have begun 
delivering $1.7 billion of weapons. More importantly, we have lost 7 
servicemembers already.
  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. I have no doubt that if this 
resolution passes, an appropriate authorization to use force will be 
passed, and we will have clarity as to the scope and conduct of this 
war.
  I thank my colleagues for introducing this legislation.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Holding).
  Mr. HOLDING. I thank the chairman for yielding.
  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 is 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, has 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.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  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 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.

                              {time}  1430

  My constituents expect Congress to do its job, and we have failed for 
4 months to act on the President's draft for the Authorization for Use 
of Military Force.
  There is no more serious duty that we have than the declaration of 
war, and I thank my friend from Massachusetts for taking an action 
intended to force the House to perform its constitutional 
responsibility and debate the use of military force in Iraq and Syria. 
This resolution is our only vehicle to force the House to do what it 
has failed to do.
  Over the past 14 years, the United States has lost more than 6,000 
heroes who served our Nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Speaker, I am 
deeply concerned about the possibility that we could continue to commit 
more brave American men and women in uniform to a conflict without 
carefully considering, seriously debating, and properly authorizing 
that use of military force.
  Allowing this military 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 ultimately 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, 
and 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. I thank the gentleman from New 
York.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  (Ms. JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, this hour, this minute, this second is 
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 vileness of ISIS 
and all of the terrorist groups and the willingness of the American 
people to be empathetic, sympathetic, and helping the Iraqis and 
Syrians and those who are suffering and those who are bleeding.
  But the question has to be, after 6,000 wounded, hundreds who have 
been killed particularly in my State, and thousands more across the 
Nation, we have to find the pathway where all of us know what we are 
doing.

[[Page H4463]]

  This is an important resolution. We need the debate, and we need to 
understand that our soldiers need to be protected and ultimately 
brought home.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Con. Res. 55, directing 
the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, 
to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or 
after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces required to protect 
United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq and Syria.
  This resolution provides a procedural mechanism for Congress to do 
its job.
  Specifically, the resolution gives the House leadership 6 months to 
take up an AUMF, debate it and vote up or voted down.
  This time frame allows the President the opportunity to revise the 
AUMF to state his objectives and goals for consideration by Congress.
  As a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee and the Ranking 
Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland 
Security and Investigations, I stand in strong support of our country's 
armed forces' might and our valiant soldiers and armed personnel who 
have fought to protect our country.
  I also stand with the American people and taxpayers, who have placed 
their trust in the President and his Administration through war and 
peace.
  After all, not too long ago, he was one of us grappling with the war 
logic we were presented by the prior administration.
  President Obama inherited this war, along with a problematic economy 
and we applaud all his good faith efforts to do ``damage control'' to 
fix a problem he did not create as it relates to ending war and 
facilitating a better economy for the American people.
  I recognize that it is not an easy feat to fix our problematic war 
policies under enormous pressure from both sides of the aisle.
  We recognize that the President has been thoughtful, deliberative and 
judicious about our presence in Iraq and Syria.
  We appreciate the threat to the United States posed by the current 
instability in the Middle East, especially with events in the recent 
past: the Arab Spring, ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
  We have spent nearly trillions of dollars in wars against ISIS in 
Iraq and Syria.
  Let me be clear the threat of ISIS and terrorism is clear.
  That is why we need to have a full clear and comprehensive debate on 
what the plan is.
  We have six months to do it and thus we can be thoughtful and 
deliberate about it.
  To keep our homeland safe, we must be able to defeat and destroy 
ISIS.
  Over 7,000 fallen heroes have sacrificed their lives to protect our 
country and help facilitate democracy in Iraq and Syria.
  Their devotion to our country is remarkable and inspiring.
  The Islamic State, also known as ISIS is gobbling up land in Iraq and 
Syria.
  In 2007, I introduced H.R. 930, the ``Military Success in Iraq and 
Diplomatic Surge for Political and National Reconciliation in Iraq Act 
of 2007'' (MSIA).
  Among other things, H.R. 930, would require a diplomatic full-court 
press designed to engage all six of Iraq's neighbors--Iran, Turkey, 
Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait--more constructively in 
stabilizing Iraq. These countries are already involved in a bilateral, 
self-interested and disorganized way.
  The MSIA Act would ensure that never again will the American people 
or the Congress be bamboozled into rubber-stamping an ill-advised, ill-
planned, preemptive war.
  In the Eighteenth Congressional District of Texas alone, more than 
300 Texans have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
  Indeed, more than 3,000 Texans have been wounded.
  The cost of war is brutal on our communities.
  In my state, of the over 3,000 lives that have been lost, I can 
assure you that thousands more lives are affected.
  To date, the war in Iraq alone has claimed the lives of over 4,000 
brave servicemen and women. More than 30,000 Americans have been 
wounded, many suffering the most horrific injuries.
  The mothers, fathers, wives, brothers, sisters, children, cousins, 
aunts, uncles and friends of those of our fallen soldiers are affected.
  How do they manage?
  How do they cope after losing their loved ones?
  How does a mother deal with the reality of burying her son or 
daughter?
  How does a father mourn the loss of his adult child, whose bright 
future carried a lot of his aspirations for a better and safer America?
  That is just the human cost.
  We are grateful to various U.S. agencies and non-profit organizations 
like the wounded warriors organizations that are helping these brave 
men and women attempt to put the pieces together.
  We made the point that it was essential for this and prior 
Administrations to develop ``a plan'' for any war we sought to embark 
upon.
  Yes, we understand that the Armed Forces of the United States is 
unparalleled on the battlefield and would decisively defeat Iraq's 
forces and remove Saddam Hussein, which in fact we did.
  But the existential question was what do we do next?
  This resolution allows time for the President to come up with a plan 
for Congress to look at and consider.
  Just consider these facts. Since the war began in Iraq and Syria:
  In addition to our American causalities, hundreds of thousands of 
Iraqi and Syrian civilians have been killed.
  About 13.6 million people, equivalent to the population of London, 
have been displaced by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and many are 
without food or shelter according to the UNHCR.
  More than a trillion dollars has been expended on both wars;
  On the operations against ISIS, it is estimated that we are spending 
as much as $22 billion a year.
  Could this money be put to better use? Well, consider the following:
  How about fully funding the last week's Trade Adjustment Bill we 
voted on to protect over 280,000 American workers displaced by U.S. 
involvement in global trade;
  A well funded TAA is designed to help train American workers 
displaced into new career paths so that they are able to make a living 
and support their families;
  Programs funded by the TAA provide a path for employment growth and 
opportunity through aid to U.S. workers who have lost their jobs as a 
result of foreign trade;
  The TAA provide our trade-affected workers with opportunities to 
obtain the skills, resources, and support they need to become 
reemployed;
  According to the DOL, over 5 percent of Americans are still looking 
for work and are unemployed or underemployed;
  That means 1.5 million Americans are struggling financially;
  This translates to millions of families.
  Should we not be working to improve the livelihood of Americans?
  Mr. Speaker, opponents of the resolution before us contend that it 
gives comfort to the enemy and undermines the President's strategy for 
success in war in Iraq and Syria.
  What we need is a solid strategy that is supported by the 
Administration, Congress and the American people.
  This starts with a plan put forth by the President and debated and 
approved by the Congress.
  This is why we should afford the President the opportunity to come up 
with this plan.
  Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, exiles and militia leaders have 
found their way into Iraq and Syria in the likes of ISIS and are now a 
menace to peace loving people everywhere.
  Peace, security, and the protection of lives is and should be our 
priority.
  That is why I strongly and proudly support our magnificent, heroic, 
and selfless service men and women.
  That is why I strongly support H. Con. Res. 55 which provides a 
procedural mechanism for Congress to do its job, by giving House 
leadership 6 months to take up an AUMF, debate it and vote up or voted 
down.
  I urge all members to support the resolution before the House.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Kinzinger), a member of the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce, who also served in the U.S. Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan 
and was one of the earliest voices calling for airstrikes against ISIS.
  Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for his 
leadership on this issue for, unfortunately, the long time that we have 
been having to deal with this.
  I am surprised. We watch the news. We see what is happening overseas 
and from afar, and we see the human tragedy occurring; yet we are here 
debating an isolationism resolution to withdraw all military actions 
from the Middle East at a time when we see utter human tragedies. This 
is not the time, in fact, to halt military operations.
  I would like to speak out quickly on an issue that I think underlines 
this whole debate. There are some that believe that if our foreign 
policy were simply nicer, if our foreign policy were more accommodating 
or less focused on military power, then the world and, more 
importantly, our enemies would suddenly view America in a much 
different light, or that the problems that we are facing today, we 
wouldn't be facing them at all. This is a view of pacificism or 
disengagement in the world,

[[Page H4464]]

and it represents at best a naive world view, and I think it is 
certainly an illusion.
  Ironically, as we debate the merits of this resolution, we have a 
case study in the illusion of pacifism or disengagement. The President 
laid down a red line against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and, in fact, 
the Russians supposedly gave the President an off-ramp in which he was 
able to exit and allow Bashar al-Assad to simply give up his chemical 
weapons.
  When we saw that nicer new engagement by the United States, we did 
not see a peaceful Bashar al-Assad emerge realizing that he had simply 
misunderstood the United States. We saw the same brutal dictator that 
murdered his own people continued to be brutal and murderous.
  Before we withdrew troops completely from Iraq, many implored the 
President to leave a residual force. We didn't do it, and we have now 
the next iteration of al Qaeda, named ISIS. Now, that may be a bit of 
an oversimplification, but it is, in essence, 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 that not only limited 
his ability to fight ISIS, but limited the ability of the next 
President of the United States to fight and destroy ISIS. I personally 
won't be a party to tying the President's hands.
  Mr. Speaker, I was in Iraq just a few months ago, and I saw the human 
tragedy that occurred. I stood in the U.N. refugee camp and had a 
little girl come up to me and explain through a translator how her 
parents were killed by ISIS and how she ran away fleeing for security, 
and I realized the important role that the United States of America 
plays, the unfortunate burden that we must bear for world security.
  Mr. Speaker, we either stand up and fight ISIS now, or we sit on our 
knees and cower before them later.
  Mr. ENGEL. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Sherman), a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, 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 
regime 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.
  The resolution before us I do not think is the answer to the fact 
that Congress has not debated 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. It says that it ends all deployment, but 
it is 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 rights of the President under current law to 
deploy our forces for 60 to 90 days if there would be some further 
outrage from the Assad regime?
  We need a new resolution that does Congress' best job to deal with 
the current circumstances. What we don't need is the idea that blaming 
Obama for everything constitutes a foreign policy strategy.
  The fact is that it was the Bush administration that installed and 
left al-Maliki in power. It is al-Maliki that expelled all our forces 
and would not allow a residual force. Would we have gone to war with 
the Iraqi Army under al-Maliki if he expelled our forces? I have yet to 
hear that suggested by the blame Obama side.
  The fact is that we cannot leave our forces in a country that will 
not sign a status of forces agreement with us.
  The great problem with Iraq today is what al-Maliki did to that 
country, and the person who installed al-Maliki was the former 
President of the United States, President George W. Bush.
  So I look forward, 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.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I don't appreciate this resolution being 
mischaracterized. The troops don't have to be withdrawn for 6 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 
and voted on an AUMF, they ought to support this resolution because it 
is the only way we are going to force the leadership in this House to 
do its job.
  With that, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
O'Rourke).
  Mr. O'ROURKE. Mr. Speaker, this is the best way I can think of of 
supporting our servicemembers and their families in this time of war, 
because I can think of no greater way to support them, to ensure that 
we have a strategy with defined, achievable goals when we are going to 
put their lives on the line. 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 is worthy of the loss of 
even one American servicemember'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, Mr. Speaker, I believe, is our way of supporting soldiers and 
their families. It is also a way that the American people can hold us 
accountable by making the most important, awesome decision that a 
Member of Congress can, which is to put an American servicemember in 
harm's way.
  I want to make sure that we can source the judgment and wisdom of the 
people that we represent. I, for one, if we have that debate and have 
that vote, will go back to my community. I will talk to veterans who 
have served in our wars. I will talk to the parents of future 
servicemembers whose children's lives will be put on the line, some 
which will be lost, some which will be changed forever. I think that is 
the minimum responsibility that we must meet.
  I wish that an AUMF were brought to the floor in some other way, but 
today this is the only way to get there. For that reason, I will 
support this.
  Mr. ROYCE. I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Indiana (Mrs. 
Walorski), a member of the Armed Services and the Veterans' Affairs 
Committees.
  Mrs. WALORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I just came from an Armed Services 
Committee meeting where the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs both agreed that under no circumstances should this 
House consider this resolution at this time, which is conceivably an 
immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and Syria. This causes, 
they discussed, an immediate risk to our homeland and our allies.
  We would not be here today debating this issue if the Commander in 
Chief had articulated a strategy to the American people. We would not 
be debating this concept.
  Even so, Mr. Chairman, this is dangerous for America, and this is not 
the way to go on a plan for an immediate withdrawal with our allies and 
with our homeland being at risk.
  The world is watching today. The world has watched for the last 
several years 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 reject 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.
  I ask my colleagues to reject this resolution.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Sherman).

                              {time}  1445

  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, 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 
here are the words--``by no later than the end of the period of 30 days 
beginning on the day on which this concurrent resolution is adopted.''

[[Page H4465]]

  Now, that certainly applies to all our naval forces and all our air 
forces. But then it goes on to say, if the President determines that it 
is not safe to remove forces, he can have an additional period up to 
the end of the year. That assumes that our ground forces cannot be 
withdrawn within a 30-day period.
  Our forces are mobile. They are capable. They are currently behind 
the front lines. And they can, indeed, leave within 30 days. So clause 
2 is applicable only to a military that is engaged in combat or is 
immobile. Our military is neither.
  Clause 1: ``30 days beginning on the day on which this concurrent 
resolution is adopted.''
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I urge my colleagues to read the resolution because basically what it 
does, it gives the President up through the end of the year, if he so 
chooses. I mean, that is what the resolution says. And I would hope 
that in 6 months we could come together and pass an AUMF. I would hope 
that all my colleagues--who are complaining here that we don't have an 
AUMF--would actually come together in the next 6 months to do something 
because it hasn't happened in the first 10 months. We can point fingers 
all we want, but it is not getting done.
  And this is a way to force this Congress to do its job. It is 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 am sorry that so many people think that is a radical idea, but we 
haven't done our job. And I think it is a disservice to the men and 
women who serve in our Armed Forces, and it is a disservice to our duty 
as Members of Congress.
  With that, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Nolan).
  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 treasure. It 
is 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 understood the importance of having the Congress 
make these decisions--not executives. And we owe it to our troops.
  It is time to have that resolution debated and decided here, or it is 
time to bring the troops home, Mr. Speaker.
  As Judge Poe would say, ``And that is just the way it is.''
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I will continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. ENGEL. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lee), one of the coauthors of this resolution.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me first thank Congressman McGovern for 
yielding and for his tireless effort and leadership. Also, I am proud 
to join with Congressman Walter Jones and, again, Mr. McGovern on this 
bipartisan resolution.
  This resolution calls only for the withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces 
from Iraq and Syria by the end of the year absent, mind you--absent--
the passage of an Authorization for 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.
  For the last 10 months, our Nation has been fighting yet another war 
in the Middle East, a war that Congress has yet to authorize or even to 
debate. We have been patient, and we have given the House leadership 
plenty of time to develop a strategy to bring up an authorization.
  When this war began, Congressman McGovern and I wrote to the Speaker, 
calling for an immediate debate and vote. Nothing happened. Then at the 
beginning of this Congress, the Speaker said that the President had to 
send to Congress an authorization. More than 4 months ago, the 
President did just that. Once again, nothing happened.
  In the 10 months since the war began, we have had no real debate and 
certainly no vote. This is outrageous.
  Now, let me be clear about what we are 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 Use of Military Force 
by the end of the year and to follow through on its constitutional 
responsibility. It is about making us do our job. It is unfortunate 
that we have to do that.
  The timeline included in this bill gives the leadership of the House 
6 months to bring forward an AUMF, but the clock is ticking.
  Just last week, the President announced he authorized the deployment 
of 450 more American troops to train and assist Iraqi forces in the 
fight against ISIS.
  Mr. Speaker, this is textbook mission creep.
  Mr. Speaker, we are 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 Use of Military 
Force--which is a blank check for endless war--has been cited as the 
authorization for the ongoing war against ISIS. That is 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 books indefinitely without 
repealing or replacing it has allowed Congress to avoid its 
constitutional responsibility to bring up an authorization against 
ISIS.
  From what I remember, we only had 1 hour of debate in 2001. At least, 
Mr. Speaker, we have 2 hours now to debate whether or not to debate an 
Authorization for Use of Military Force.
  Congress must have a role in how we do our work and what we are 
required to do, and that is 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 Defense 
Appropriations bill, I offered a sense of Congress amendment that 
simply reaffirmed that Congress has a constitutional 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 is bipartisan agreement around the need for Congress to debate on 
a specific AUMF.
  We need to do our job. We know full well there is no military 
solution in Iraq or Syria, for that matter, and that any lasting 
solution must be settled in the region among warring factions.
  The American people deserve to know the costs and the 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 is unfortunate, again, 
that 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 is simple. It is 
bipartisan. It just requires us to do our job and to exercise our 
constitutional responsibilities. Enough is enough. We cannot allow the 
American people to have no voice in what is said and what is being done 
with their taxpayer dollars.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Texas

[[Page H4466]]

(Mr. McCaul), the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, the resolution before us here today, in my 
judgment, is dangerous and should be defeated.
  For months, Congress and the American people have demanded a strategy 
from this administration to defeat and destroy ISIS, a barbaric and 
growing terrorist empire that threatens not only the people of Iraq and 
Syria but also the United States.
  Today the Secretary of Defense testified that ``ISIS is a threat to 
the homeland because of its avowed intentions to strike and recruit in 
this country. ISIS must be and will be dealt a lasting defeat.''
  But this President does not have a strategy to accomplish this. We 
continue to fight the terrorists with one hand tied behind our back, 
and 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, and I spoke with Prime Minister Abadi. 
Unfortunately, the current strategy, in my opinion, relies too heavily 
on Shia militias, a proxy of Iran, to defeat ISIS.
  We now have over 3,000 American servicemembers 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 is more committed 
to his campaign pledge to end the wars in the 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 Maliki to govern effectively 
created a vacuum that ISIS now fills.
  In Syria, a civil war continues to rage. There too ISIS has filled 
the void. Islamist fanatics from more than 100 countries have traveled 
overseas to fight with groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. Thousands of 
these jihadists 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 Sunni communities in Iraq and doing Assad's bidding in 
Syria.
  As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently told our delegation: 
``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 ask the Yazidi Christians in Iraq if they support leaving 
security in the hands of ISIS and the Iranians. Thousands of Yazidis 
would have been killed last summer if it weren't for U.S. airstrikes to 
repel an ISIS advancement against them. Nothing could be more 
irresponsible or damaging to our interests.
  But let me say this in response to those who say this is a vote to 
urge an AUMF vote. I personally support a strong AUMF, an 
authorization, but one to defeat and destroy ISIS.
  We met the White House counsel. 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 Authorization 
for Use of Military Force.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler), my friend and colleague.
  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. And I do so not 
because I necessarily think we ought to withdraw all our troops in 6 
months. Maybe we should. I am not sure of that yet. But I do know that 
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 Framers 
said war is too important to allow one person--the President--to decide 
on it. But we have gotten away from that. We got away from it because 
we didn't have time. That was the excuse. With the missiles flying over 
the poles, you couldn't call Congress into session.
  But then came Iraq. We had a resolution for the use of military 
force. Then came Libya. No excuse. Plenty of time to consult with NATO. 
Plenty of time to consult with Arab countries. No time to consult with 
Congress. I believe that was an unconstitutional--and a foolish, as it 
turns out--but an unconstitutional use of force.

                              {time}  1500

  Mr. Speaker, now we have this force in the Middle East, in Iraq and 
in Syria. We are getting more and more into a war. I am not commenting 
on the intelligence of that right now. It may be that we have no choice 
but to fight ISIS. Maybe, as the Republicans seem to want without 
saying so, we should have a lot of boots on the ground, because that is 
what they are really saying 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 tacitly allying with Iran against ISIS. 
Or maybe we should say it is up to the Middle Eastern people--they can 
handle it--and pull our troops out altogether. That is the debate we 
ought to have. And what are the limits of our commitment, if any? That 
ought to be debated in Congress. Congress ought to make these decisions 
in the name of the American people, not the President.
  Now, because we haven't had an AUMF on the floor, we must have this 
resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. NADLER. This resolution is not intended to force a pullout in 6 
months. It is intended to force a debate in Congress in 6 months. Let 
us get back to our constitutional tradition. Let Congress do its job, 
and if the President submitted an AUMF that is too strong or too weak, 
let's bring up a different one. But it is our job to make those 
decisions. It is our job to stand before our constituents to say we 
believe this is important enough to go to war with ISIS or with Iran, 
to send more troops there or not, and here is why and here are the 
limitations, we shouldn't have boots on the ground or we should.
  Mr. Speaker, these are our decisions to make, and our decisions we 
shouldn't be able to avoid. That is what this is about. We have had 10 
years of war, 13 years of war. The 2001 AUMF cannot possibly be 
relevant now. We thought we were voting for 3 weeks of strikes against 
bases in Afghanistan. The 2002 AUMF was to topple Saddam Hussein. He is 
gone. I didn't think that was a good idea, but it is over. The 
consequences are not over.
  We ought to debate this. We ought to debate an AUMF. We ought to pass 
one or not. That is our decision, but let's pass this resolution that 
supports that decision on us.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution.
  First let me thank the gentleman from Massachusetts, the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Lee), and the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Jones) for their tireless leadership on this issue.
  Thank you, Mr. McGovern.
  For 14 long years, our Nation has been at war. Our people are sick 
and tired of war. This resolution simply opens the door 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 the end to terrorism is not found through the 
barrel of a gun or more boots on the ground. More weapons cannot stomp 
out the root causes of terrorism, and more 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 vast.
  President John F. Kennedy once said, ``Those who make a peaceful 
revolution

[[Page H4467]]

impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.''
  Many years ago, I shared my concerns with you that young people in 
the Middle East would never forget the violence that they have 
experienced in their youth. I feared then--and I say it again--that 
they would grow up hating our children, our grandchildren, and 
generations yet unborn. I feared those young people would have very 
little faith in the idea of democracy, in the values of inclusion, or 
the hope for lasting peace.
  ``Hate begets hate,'' as Martin Luther King, Jr., would say, 
``violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We 
must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.''
  These young people must be our focus. We must lift them up and listen 
to regional voices for peace. We must counter the consequences of 
violence by demonstrating that diplomacy and the spread of true 
democracy are the most effective weapons against terrorism.
  Yes, I will say it again. Our people are sick and tired of war. I 
hope that all of my colleagues will support this resolution and vote 
``yes'' for a method to build a peace for long a time and for years and 
generations to come.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. It is my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from the District of Columbia, Ms. Eleanor Holmes Norton.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend from New York for 
yielding to me. I have something special to say.
  Mr. Speaker, 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. My colleagues will not 
only speak today, they also will vote the will of their constituents. 
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 in Federal taxes, 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 every war 
ever since the Nation was created. It is time that the Congress was 
there for District residents.
  Nearly 200,000 D.C. residents have fought for America's freedom in 
time of war, yet our residents, including our veterans, are still 
denied a vote in the national legislature that sent them to war. In 
fact, D.C. servicemembers 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 dollars but denies them representation in 
Congress.
  D.C. residents have not only given their lives for this country since 
its creation as a nation, they have died in disproportionate numbers in 
all of the 21st century wars; yet these veterans, among the 650,000 
Americans who live in the District of Columbia, still have no vote on 
national security, no vote on defense spending, no vote in the decision 
to send our country to war, and no vote on anything else in this House.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman an additional 1 
minute.
  Ms. NORTON. I protest, Mr. Speaker. I protest continuing to demand 
full citizenship costs from the residents of our Nation's Capital while 
denying them the vote granted to all other Americans that come with 
those costs.
  I thank my friend for yielding.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Sanford.)
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Massachusetts for 
offering this important proposal that he is joined with by colleagues 
from California, New York, North Carolina, and other places.
  I am a Republican who stands proudly with this Democrat because I 
think he is hitting the nail on the head. I do so because, in this 
instance, it has been argued against as a blunt instrument. But what 
the Founding Fathers were incredibly deliberate about--very blunt 
about, if you will--was that only Congress had the ability to declare 
war. And so this one blunt instrument is ultimately about backing up 
the bluntness of the Constitution in absolutely being declarative in 
suggesting that only Congress has the power to authorize war.
  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 
across this country. So they wanted a check and a balance wherein 
people from those local districts could report into Congress and say 
that this is or this isn't working for folks back home.
  Again, the Founding Fathers were so blunt. I look here at a document 
that is 250 days beyond the authorization of war that is even granted 
in the War Powers Act. I look at an administration and the Congress 
that is hinging, it is 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 years ago. He said: ``The 
Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, 
that 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 to the legislature.''
  This proposal is about cost. It is about saying we have spent $2.5 
trillion in the Middle East. The Harvard study says 6 trillion.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 30 
seconds.
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Speaker, for all these different reasons, we need to 
stop and pause, not necessarily to bring troops home, but, as has been 
suggested by others, to force a debate on Congress' role. This is 
something Republicans and Democrats ought to equally care about: Do we 
or don't we have proper lanes in the channel? Is the executive 
exceeding its authority or not?
  This is something Republicans absolutely ought to care about. For 
that reason, Mr. Speaker, again, I commend the gentleman from 
Massachusetts for his work on this and ask for this bill which is so 
important for, simply, Congress' authorization of war effort.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I, too, reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I first would like to insert in the Record 
a letter of support from the Constitution Project, which is signed by 
our former colleague, Republican Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma; a letter 
in support of this resolution from the Council for a Liveable War; a 
letter of support from Win Without War; and a letter of support from 
the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

                                     The Constitution Project,

                                    Washington, DC, June 17, 2015.
     Hon. Jim McGovern,
     House of Representatives.
     Hon. Walter Jones,
     House of Representatives.
     Hon. Barbara Lee,
     House of Representatives.
       Dear Representatives McGovern, Jones and Lee: We write to 
     applaud you for your efforts to compel Congress to exercise 
     its constitutional responsibility to decide on war. For ten 
     months President Obama has prosecuted the war against the 
     Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) under a specious 
     legal claim that Congress authorized it fourteen years ago. 
     Congress has done no such thing. It is high time that Members 
     weighed in.
       We take no position on grave policy choices about whether 
     to continue to use military force against ISIL, and if so 
     how. But Congress must. The Framers vested the war power in 
     the legislative branch precisely because they believed that 
     young Americans should only be put in harm's way when the 
     people, through their representatives' collective judgment, 
     approved it.
       We know this is the most difficult issue that Members face. 
     It is also your most important responsibility. If Congress 
     agrees that U.S. service men and woman should be engaged in 
     battle, it is Members' constitutional duty to say so. If 
     Congress disagrees,

[[Page H4468]]

     those men and women should come home. What Congress cannot do 
     is continue to avoid the question. We support H. Con. Res. 55 
     because it would force this long-overdue debate and vote.
       Please do not hesitate to contact us, via Scott Roehm at 
     The Constitution Project, with any questions or concerns.
           Sincerely,
     Mickey Edwards,
       Vice President, Aspen Institute; former Member of Congress 
     (R-OK) and Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee; 
     co-chair The Constitution Project War Powers Committee.
     Louis Fisher,
       Specialist in Constitutional Law, Law Library of Congress 
     (ret.); Scholar in Residence, The Constitution Project.
     Virginia Sloan,
       President, The Constitution Project.
                                  ____



                                  Council for a Livable World,

                                    Washington, DC, June 16, 2015.
       Dear Representative McGovern,  Later this week, Congress 
     has the opportunity to take action it has conspicuously 
     avoided: debate and vote on the war in Iraq and Syria.
       While America has dropped thousands of bombs, deployed 
     3,500 troops--with plans to send 450 more and spent billions 
     of dollars in our latest war, Congress has failed to perform 
     its most basic constitutional responsibility: to debate and 
     vote on war.
       But this week, Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-
     NC), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), are demanding that Congress do 
     its job.
       They have introduced a bipartisan resolution, H. Con. Res. 
     55, which could force the House of Representatives to debate 
     and vote on the war.
       If adopted, the legislation would direct the President to 
     withdraw all American military personnel from Iraq by 
     December 31, 2015 unless Congress votes to authorize the use 
     of force.
       The right of Congress to declare war is fundamental to our 
     Constitution, yet Congress has avoided taking a stand on our 
     most recent war in the Middle East. In addition, Congress 
     holds the power of the purse, and yet the war is costing at 
     least $9 million per day without congressional approval. 
     Congress owes it to the thousands of Americans we have put 
     into harm's way to ensure it is for the right reasons.
       The President should not be permitted to wage war without 
     Congressional approval; he should not be able to claim 
     outdated authorizations for the use of military force dating 
     to 2001 and 2002 as his cover for war.
       We urge you to support H. Con. Res. 55, the McGovern-Jones-
     Lee resolution. It is time for Congress to take a stand.
           Sincerely,
     Angela Canterbury,
       Executive Director.
     John Isaacs,
       Senior Fellow.
                                  ____



                                              Win Without War,

                                    Washington, DC, June 16, 2015.
       On behalf of the Win Without War coalition and our 11 
     million members, we urge Rep. Jim McGovern to SUPPORT 
     H.Con.Res.55.
       This bipartisan resolution, introduced by Reps. McGovern 
     (D-MA), Jones (R-NC), and Lee (D-CA), would force Congress to 
     debate the use of military force in Iraq and Syria. We expect 
     the resolution to be on the floor tomorrow, June 17.
       While America has dropped thousands of bombs, deployed 
     3,500 troops, and spent billions of dollars in our latest 
     war, Congress has failed to perform its most basic 
     responsibility to debate and vote on the war in Iraq and 
     Syria. After ten months of bombing Iraq and Syria, it is past 
     time for Congress to do its job and debate and vote on this 
     war. It is simply unconscionable that we are asking our men 
     and women in uniform to risk their lives in a war that 
     Congress has not voted on.
       The McGovern-Jones-Lee Resolution would force Congress to 
     vote on the war in Iraq and Syria, and, importantly, if 
     Congress continues to shirk its constitutional duty, it would 
     bring our troops home. In the words of Rep. McGovern, ``if 
     this House doesn't have the stomach to carry out its 
     constitutional duty to debate and authorize this latest war, 
     then we should bring our troops home. If the cowardly 
     Congress can go home each night to their families and loved 
     ones, then our brave troops should receive that same 
     privilege.''
       However one feels about this latest war in the Middle East, 
     we can all agree that it is long past time for Congress to do 
     its job and finally debate and vote on the war in Iraq and 
     Syria.
       Congress needs to fulfill its constitutional duty of 
     debating and voting on this war. We hope you will SUPPORT 
     H.Con.Res.55.
       As always, if we can be of any additional assistance as 
     your office considers this important resolution, please let 
     us know.
           Sincerely,


                                                Stephen Miles,

                               Advocacy Director, Win Without War.

     
                                  ____
                                              Friends Committee on


                                         National Legislation,

                                    Washington, DC, June 17, 2015.
       Today your boss will take an important vote on war 
     authority. The House is expected to consider H.Con.Res.55, a 
     privileged resolution led by Reps. Jim McGovern, Walter 
     Jones, and Barbara Lee. By exercising Congress' ability under 
     the War Powers Resolution to urge cessation of hostilities 
     absent a congressional authorization of force, the resolution 
     would serve as a forcing mechanism for Congress to finally 
     debate the war against ISIS that has lasted more than ten 
     months without specific congressional debate and 
     authorization.
       Nearly ten months ago, the Obama administration sidestepped 
     its constitutional mandate to seek authority from Congress 
     before engaging in new military hostilities. This greatly 
     expanded the scope of the 2001 AUMF and the scope of 
     executive war powers. Further, it deprived the American 
     people and their elected representatives of an opportunity to 
     express opposition, or to ask important questions about the 
     overall strategy, and why more war will solve the region's 
     problems, when it has failed to do so any other time.
       The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) urges 
     your boss to take this opportunity to debate the war, to vote 
     for the re-establishment of congressional war power, and to 
     vote in favor of H.Con.Res.55. It's time for Congress to 
     weigh in on this issue.
       Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 
     Elizabeth@fcnl.org if you have any further questions or 
     concerns.
           Thanks,
     Maggie O'Donnell,
       Program Assistant, Militarism and Civil Liberties, Friends 
     Committee on National Legislation.

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the right to close.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for the gentleman from California 
and the gentleman from New York. I know that if it were left up to 
them, they could fashion an AUMF that could get 218 votes here. Quite 
frankly, we wouldn't be here today if we had done our job, because the 
only reason why you can bring up a privileged resolution under the War 
Powers Resolution is if our troops are in harm's way and we haven't 
acted. This could end right now if the Speaker of the House or the 
majority leader would give us a date certain by which we would debate 
and vote on an AUMF.
  Mr. Speaker, I am deeply troubled by our policy in Iraq and Syria. I 
do not believe it is a clearly defined mission, and I fear that it 
might be just more of the same.

                              {time}  1515

  I am not convinced that by enlarging our military footprint, we will 
end the violence in the region, defeat the Islamic State or address the 
underlying causes of unrest.
  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 is our duty. That is our job. If we don't have the guts to do so, 
then we should at least have the decency to bring our troops homes to 
their families and to their loved ones.
  I hope that 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. 
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 to fight in our name, but we 
don't have the courage to stand up for them and to authorize the war, 
and we don't have the guts to bring them home.
  Take a minute and ask: We are willing to send our troops into danger; 
we are willing to spend billions upon billions upon billions of 
borrowed money for this war, but we are 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 when we are not willing to put anything on the line 
for them?
  I have had colleagues come up against this resolution and say: We 
share your frustration over the fact that we have not debated and voted 
on an AUMF.

[[Page H4469]]

  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, I am 
going to schedule an AUMF, and we are going to debate it and vote on 
it?
  We have been involved in this latest war for over 10 months. Our 
resolution would give them another 6 months to come up with an AUMF, 
and if they didn't, then we bring our troops home.
  This 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 6 entire 
months to get an AUMF enacted. It gives this House and this leadership 
6 more months in which to simply do their job.
  A vote for this resolution is not a vote to pull out, as some have 
asserted; it is 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; yet rather than trying to bring 
an AUMF to the floor to define that policy better, they are simply 
content to sit back and criticize from the sidelines. That is not what 
we are here to do. That is not our job.
  This is important stuff. War is a big deal. We ought to treat it like 
it is a big deal. War has become too easy for this Congress. I see no 
other way to force this issue than by supporting this resolution before 
us.
  I urge my colleagues to vote in support of H. Con. Res. 55, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to 
close.
  Let me, first of all, I will conclude the way I began. I want to 
commend my friend and colleague, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
McGovern), for raising this issue. It is an issue that has to be 
raised, and I am in sympathy with many of the things that he said. I 
don't really think we are really disagreeing here; we are just 
disagreeing on tactics.
  As I have 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. 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 an AUMF, but we need to pass the 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 would wager that it won't include 
the limitations that many of us on this side would like to see.
  Worse still, we could just rubberstamp the argument that the 2001 
AUMF applies to ISIS in 2015. Again, that is why I said we have to be 
careful we don't cut off our nose to spite our face.
  Now, 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 have 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.
  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 and 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, and let's put before this Congress the right 
policy to get this job done.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the resolution, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I very much appreciate Mr. McGovern for his consistency. Even when we 
may disagree on substance, I have worked with him on policies with 
respect to human rights in Africa and, frankly, across the world on 
many, many issues. I agree that an AUMF would be good, but only the 
right AUMF.
  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.
  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.

  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 have discussed the AUMF; we have 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. For that reason, we are 
going to redouble our effort.
  There would, though, be a price paid for failure on this floor, 
signaling disunity. As we work towards the effort to build a consensus, 
we have passed legislation to directly arm the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga 
forces who are fighting ISIS on the ground.
  We have worked to strengthen U.S. defense cooperation with our 
regional ally Jordan, to help prevent Americans who join and fight for 
ISIS from returning home to the homeland--we passed that legislation--
and to combat the cultural genocide being perpetrated by ISIS forces.
  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 foolhardy, 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.
  For that reason, I would ask Members to contemplate for a moment what 
the world would look like should ISIS, should our forces, our 
airstrikes against ISIS, be pulled out of that region because I 
remember what it looked like when we did not have airstrikes on ISIS 
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.
  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 
captives to be sold as sex slaves and put into forced marriages with 
ISIS fighters. That is what we witnessed after the fall of that great 
city.
  The question I would ask is: If we are to abandon our airstrikes 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 no longer simply a terrorist organization--it is now 
a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through 
the Tigris and Euphrates valley in what is now Syria and Iraq and 
Lebanon and seek to expand that further.

[[Page H4470]]

  We know a lot now about its leader, Abu al-Baghdadi, in Syria. He is 
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.
  Part of that is to gain resources and recruits and create a safe 
haven to attack the United States. Yes, this certainly goes to the 
direct security interest of the United States if we were to pull off 
and give a breather to Abu al-Baghdadi and to ISIS.
  In Iraq, we are taking less than half measures to assist the ISF, the 
forces there fighting ISIS, with insufficient trainers and advisers, 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 something about 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 emboldened, and our 
friends out of fear are susceptible to poor decisions, while the Middle 
East region and the world become a more dangerous place.
  This organization ISIS is simultaneously a strategic threat to the 
region and to the world and a genocidal terror movement. I recall us 
saying on the floor of this House, never again with respect to 
genocidal terror, and we are watching genocidal terror.
  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 our prior authorization that 
we gave 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 over that region and as it attacks 
civilians throughout the Middle East.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the order of the House of Wednesday, June 16, 2015, the 
previous question is ordered on the concurrent resolution.
  The question is on adoption of the concurrent resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 15-
minute vote on adoption of the concurrent resolution will be followed 
by 5-minute votes on ordering the previous question on House Resolution 
319, and adopting House Resolution 319, if ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 139, 
nays 288, answered ``present'' 1, not voting 5, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 370]

                               YEAS--139

     Adams
     Bass
     Becerra
     Benishek
     Beyer
     Blum
     Blumenauer
     Bonamici
     Brady (PA)
     Burgess
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clawson (FL)
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Conyers
     Cummings
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     DeSaulnier
     Dingell
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duncan (TN)
     Edwards
     Ellison
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farr
     Fattah
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Garrett
     Grayson
     Griffith
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hastings
     Heck (WA)
     Higgins
     Himes
     Hinojosa
     Honda
     Huffman
     Hurt (VA)
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kirkpatrick
     Kuster
     Labrador
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lee
     Lewis
     Lieu, Ted
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Maloney, Sean
     Massie
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Moore
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Nugent
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Posey
     Quigley
     Rangel
     Rice (SC)
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanford
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Speier
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takai
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Wilson (FL)
     Woodall
     Yarmuth
     Yoho

                               NAYS--288

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Aguilar
     Allen
     Amodei
     Ashford
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Beatty
     Bera
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Bost
     Boustany
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Calvert
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Connolly
     Cook
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello (PA)
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Rodney
     Delaney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Deutch
     Diaz-Balart
     Doggett
     Dold
     Donovan
     Duckworth
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Engel
     Farenthold
     Fincher
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gabbard
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
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     Graham
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     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grothman
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     Hensarling
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     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
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     Johnson, Sam
     Jolly
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     Kilmer
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     Lummis
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     Miller (MI)
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     Price, Tom
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     Richmond
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     Rogers (KY)
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     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--1

       
     Amash
       

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Byrne
     Hanna
     Johnson (GA)
     Kelly (MS)
     Sanchez, Loretta

                              {time}  1606

  Messrs. ABRAHAM, MEADOWS, CRENSHAW, GRAVES of Louisiana, DUFFY, 
McCAUL, COFFMAN, RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois, HARDY, CROWLEY, AL GREEN of 
Texas, RYAN of Wisconsin, and KLINE changed their vote from ``yea'' to 
``nay.''
  Messrs. FARR, COHEN, Mses. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California, ADAMS, 
Messrs. NEAL, RICE of South Carolina, Mses. KAPTUR, KELLY of Illinois, 
Messrs. THOMPSON of California, MURPHY of Florida, and LABRADOR changed 
their vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the concurrent resolution was not agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. HANNA. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 370 on H. Con. Res. 55, I am 
not recorded

[[Page H4471]]

because I was absent for personal reasons. Had I been present, I would 
have voted ``aye.''

                          ____________________