MERCHANT MARINERS OF WORLD WAR II CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 20
(House of Representatives - January 30, 2020)

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[Pages H717-H737]
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                              {time}  0915
 MERCHANT MARINERS OF WORLD WAR II CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL ACT OF 2019

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 811, I call up 
the bill (H.R. 550) to award a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, 
to the United States Merchant Mariners of World War II, in recognition 
of their dedicated and vital service during World War II, with the 
Senate amendment thereto, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Cuellar). The Clerk will designate the 
Senate amendment.
  Senate amendment:
       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Merchant Mariners of World 
     War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) 2019 marked the 74th anniversary of Allied victory in 
     World War II.
       (2) The United States Merchant Marine (in this section 
     referred to as the ``Merchant Marine'') was integral in 
     providing the link between domestic production and the 
     fighting forces overseas, providing combat equipment, fuel, 
     food, commodities, and raw materials to troops stationed 
     abroad.
       (3) Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King acknowledged the 
     indispensability of the Merchant Marine to the victory in a 
     1945 letter stating that, without the support of the Merchant 
     Marine, ``the Navy could not have accomplished its mission''.
       (4) President, and former Supreme Commander of the Allied 
     Expeditionary Forces, Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged that 
     ``through the prompt delivery of supplies and equipment to 
     our armed forces overseas, and of cargoes representing 
     economic and military aid to friendly nations, the American 
     Merchant Marine has effectively helped to strengthen the 
     forces of freedom throughout the world''.
       (5) Military missions and war planning were contingent upon 
     the availability of resources and the Merchant Marine played 
     a vital role in this regard, ensuring the efficient and 
     reliable transoceanic transport of military equipment and 
     both military and civilian personnel.
       (6) The Merchant Marine provided for the successful 
     transport of resources and personnel despite consistent and 
     ongoing exposure to enemy combatants from both the air and 
     the sea, including from enemy bomber squadrons, submarines, 
     and naval mines.
       (7) The efforts of the Merchant Marine were not without 
     sacrifices as the Merchant Marine likely bore a higher per-
     capita casualty rate than any of the military branches during 
     the war.
       (8) The Merchant Marine proved to be an instrumental asset 
     on an untold number of occasions, participating in every 
     landing operation by the United States Marine Corps, from 
     Guadalcanal to Okinawa.
       (9) The Merchant Marine provided the bulk tonnage of 
     material necessary for the invasion of Normandy, an invasion 
     which, according to a 1944 New York Times article, ``would 
     not have been possible without the Merchant Marine''.
       (10) In assessing the performance of the Merchant Marine, 
     General Eisenhower stated, ``every man in this Allied command 
     is quick to express his admiration for the loyalty, courage, 
     and fortitude of the officers and men of the Merchant Marine. 
     We count upon their efficiency and their utter devotion to 
     duty as we do our own; they have never failed us''.
       (11) During a September 1944 speech, President Franklin D. 
     Roosevelt stated that the Merchant Marine had ``delivered the 
     goods when and where needed in every theater of operations 
     and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult, 
     and dangerous transportation job ever undertaken. As time 
     goes on, there will be greater public understanding of our 
     merchant fleet's record during this war''.
       (12) The feats and accomplishments of the Merchant Marine 
     are deserving of broader public recognition.
       (13) The United States will be forever grateful and 
     indebted to these merchant mariners for their effective, 
     reliable, and courageous transport of goods and resources in 
     enemy territory throughout theaters of every variety in World 
     War II.
       (14) The goods and resources transported by the Merchant 
     Marine saved thousands of lives and enabled the Allied Powers 
     to claim victory in World War II.
       (15) The Congressional Gold Medal would be an appropriate 
     way to shed further light on the service of the merchant 
     mariners in World War II and the instrumental role they 
     played in winning that war.
       (16) Many students of the Merchant Marine Academy lost 
     their lives as they sailed through enemy-controlled waters or 
     unloaded cargo in overseas combat areas, and, as a result, 
     the United States Merchant Marine Academy is the only 
     institution among the 5 Federal academies to be authorized to 
     carry a battle standard as part of its color guard.

     SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.

       (a) Award Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of 
     Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate 
     shall make appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf 
     of Congress, of a single gold medal of appropriate design to 
     the United States merchant mariners of World War II, in 
     recognition of their dedicated and vital service during World 
     War II.
       (b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the award 
     described in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury 
     (in this Act referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall strike 
     the gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and 
     inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
       (c) American Merchant Marine Museum.--
       (1) In general.--Following the award of the gold medal 
     under subsection (a), the gold medal shall be given to the 
     American Merchant Marine Museum, where it will be available 
     for display as appropriate and available for research.
       (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     the American Merchant Marine Museum should make the gold 
     medal given to the Museum under paragraph (1) available for 
     display elsewhere, particularly at appropriate locations 
     associated with the United States Merchant Marine and that 
     preference should be given to locations affiliated with the 
     United States Merchant Marine.

     SEC. 4. DUPLICATE MEDALS.

       Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the 
     Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the 
     gold medal struck under section 3, at a price sufficient to 
     cover the costs of the medals, including labor, materials, 
     dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses.

     SEC. 5. STATUS OF MEDALS.

       (a) National Medals.--Medals struck under this Act are 
     national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, 
     United States Code.
       (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of section 5134 of 
     title 31, United States Code, all medals struck under this 
     Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.

                            Motion to Concur

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the motion.
  The text of the motion is as follows:
  Mr. ENGEL of New York moves that the House concur in the Senate 
amendment to H.R. 550 with the amendments specified in section 4 of 
House Resolution 811.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 811, the 
question shall be divided among two House amendments. Pursuant to 
section 3(a) of House Resolution 811, the portion of the divided 
question comprising the amendment specified in section 4(a) of House 
Resolution 811 shall be considered first.
  The text of House amendment to Senate amendment specified in section 
4(a) of House Resolution 811 is as follows:

[[Page H718]]

  

       In the matter proposed to be inserted by the amendment of 
     the Senate, strike sections 1, 2, and 3 and insert the 
     following:

                    TITLE I--NO WAR AGAINST IRAN ACT

     SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

       This title may be cited as the ``No War Against Iran Act''.

     SEC. 102. PROHIBITION OF UNAUTHORIZED MILITARY FORCE IN OR 
                   AGAINST IRAN.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
       (1) The acquisition by the Government of Iran of a nuclear 
     weapon would pose a grave threat to international peace and 
     stability and the national security of the United States and 
     United States allies, including Israel.
       (2) The Government of Iran is a leading state sponsor of 
     terrorism, continues to materially support the regime of 
     Bashar al-Assad, and is responsible for ongoing gross 
     violations of the human rights of the people of Iran.
       (3) Article I of the United States Constitution requires 
     the President to obtain authorization from Congress before 
     engaging in war with Iran.
       (b) Clarification of Current Law.--Nothing in the 
     Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 
     50 U.S.C. 1541 note), the Authorization for Use of Military 
     Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 
     U.S.C. 1541 note), or any other provision of law enacted 
     before the date of the enactment of this Act may be construed 
     to provide authorization for the use of military force 
     against Iran.
       (c) Prohibition of Unauthorized Military Force in or 
     Against Iran.--
       (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), no 
     Federal funds may be obligated or expended for any use of 
     military force in or against Iran unless Congress has--
       (A) declared war; or
       (B) enacted specific statutory authorization for such use 
     of military force after the date of the enactment of this Act 
     that meets the requirements of the War Powers Resolution (50 
     U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).
       (2) Exception.--The prohibition under paragraph (1) shall 
     not apply to a use of military force that is consistent with 
     section (2)(c) of the War Powers Resolution.
       (d) Rules of Construction.--Nothing in this title may be 
     construed--
       (1) to prevent the President from using necessary and 
     appropriate force to defend United States allies and partners 
     if Congress enacts specific statutory authorization for such 
     use of force consistent with the requirements of the War 
     Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.);
       (2) to relieve the executive branch of restrictions on the 
     use of force, reporting, or consultation requirements set 
     forth in the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.); 
     or
       (3) to authorize the use of military force.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This portion shall be debatable for 1 hour 
equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) and the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. McCaul) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the motion to concur.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, let me start by thanking Mr. Khanna for his hard work on 
this measure. No one has worked harder to reassert Congress' 
constitutional authority over war powers, and I have been glad to 
partner with him and cosponsor this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, this measure passed the House with bipartisan support 
last year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, but the 
Senate stripped it out before that legislation made it across the 
finish line.
  For all my colleagues who supported that amendment, the events of the 
past few weeks only underscore the importance of your vote. For anyone 
who was not convinced this measure was needed last summer, the present 
crisis shows exactly why we must adopt it today.
  Now, there is no question that Iran is dangerous. There is no 
question that Qasem Soleimani was a hardened terrorist with American 
blood on his hands; the world is better off without him.
  I am the first to speak out about the grave threats the Iranian 
regime poses to our allies and our interests and our way of life, but 
we need to address these threats in a way that protects Americans, not 
exacerbate the threat.
  No one expects Iran to behave responsibly. American leadership means 
that we need to keep pressure on Iran while working to avoid an 
unnecessary conflict. Instead, the administration seems to be holding a 
match to kindling.
  Let's be clear: The American people don't want war with Iran, and 
Congress has not authorized war with Iran. So the question is whether 
escalating tensions with Iran by killing Qasem Soleimani and, according 
to media reports, undertaking a strike against another Iranian official 
in Yemen were in America's interests and were consistent with the law.
  The past few weeks have shown pretty clearly that this action did not 
advance America's interests. American citizens want to drop everything 
and leave Iraq; thousands more troops are headed to the Middle East, 
alienating the Iraqi Government, a valued partner in the fight against 
ISIS; Iranian missiles injuring American personnel, even though at 
first the administration said there were no injuries, none of this is 
in America's interests.
  The administration claimed that the goal of the strike against 
Soleimani, that the goal of their whole Iran plan, is to restore 
deterrence. I see exactly the opposite. I see an emboldened Iran 
seeking to kick America out of the region, getting exactly what they 
want.
  And as we have learned more, it does not appear that the President 
followed the law here. The President ignored the requirements of the 
War Powers Resolution. He chose not to consult with Congress, as 
required by the law. He acted without authorization from Congress. And 
I have seen no evidence that there was any imminent threat against 
Americans or our Embassies, as the administration has claimed.
  The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to 
declare war. I feel very strongly about that. We have all marched down 
the primrose path for the last two decades, with Congress sitting 
there. There has been no declaration of war since World War II, 
December 7, 1941, and so it means that we have let the executive of 
both parties really run roughshod and do whatever the President wanted. 
Congress just sat there and did not reassert its constitutional role. 
Well, we are reasserting that role now.
  Again, the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power 
to declare war. With President Trump taking steps toward conflict with 
Iran without any consultation with Congress, we need to reassert the 
responsibility given to us in Article I, Section 8.
  It is simple. If the President wants to go to war, he needs to come 
to Congress first. This measure simply enforces the text of current law 
as written in the War Powers Resolution. It preserves the President's 
constitutional right to act in self-defense, explicitly exempting 
defensive action allowed under the War Powers Resolution. But it makes 
clear that the President cannot just skip the critical step of coming 
to Congress.
  I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can agree on this 
matter, as we did last year. Again, this has been done by both 
Republican and Democratic Presidents. We should all be united here.
  This is about upholding the Constitution. This is about checks and 
balances. This is about all the things we learned about the genius of 
our Constitution with checks and balances. We have really abrogated our 
responsibility, and the time to stop that is now. Now is the time for 
Congress to step up and assert our constitutional authority.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment. I 
thank Mr. Khanna for raising this, and I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this dangerous amendment. 
I would like to refresh the memory of my colleagues on the other side 
of the aisle.
  The Iranian regime orchestrated over a dozen attacks against 
Americans in Iraq over the last 3 months, killing a U.S. citizen and 
wounding four U.S. servicemembers. They also hit the Embassy of the 
United States, ordering a

[[Page H719]]

fiery attack on the U.S. Embassy and launched a ballistic missile 
attack on the United States Forces.

  Honestly, Mr. Speaker, I don't know what more the President needs in 
terms of authorization to respond in self-defense given these events. 
The President has made it abundantly clear that he is not starting a 
war with Iran. He has repeatedly shown restraint after Iran's 
provocations and deescalated when others would not.
  When forced by Iran's dangerous escalations, the President has 
targeted limited military action to defend Americans overseas, using 
his Article II constitutional authority. This included the strike in 
Baghdad against Soleimani, Iran's mastermind of terror, who was 
responsible for killing more than 600 Americans and wounding thousands 
more. He has blood on his hands.
  But my colleagues cannot accept the fact that the President acted 
time and again with restraint in these matters. They are so blinded by 
their contempt for this President that they are seeking to tie his 
hands. They would rather risk putting Americans in the Middle East in 
harm's way by an Iranian regime with a 40-year history of deadly 
aggression against us.
  This amendment takes legitimate options off the table for the 
executive branch. In doing so, it shows America divided in the face of 
mounting Iranian threats, making our Nation less safe. Make no mistake, 
Iran and others are watching as the Democrats needlessly divide us.
  We all agree that, under Article I of the Constitution, only Congress 
possesses the authority to declare war, but this amendment goes much 
further than prohibiting an unauthorized war. This amendment uses 
Congress' power of the purse to preclude any use of force whatsoever 
against Iran unless it is previously authorized by Congress or provoked 
by an attack on the territory or the Armed Forces of the United States.
  Think about what that means. What can our military do if Iran attacks 
American civilians or diplomats or commercial shipping overseas? Under 
this reckless amendment, the answer is absolutely nothing. The United 
States military cannot fire a single shot until after the successful 
completion of a bicameral legislative process that enacts law 
authorizing the use of force. How many Americans would be dead by then?
  We need Iran and its terrorist proxies to think twice about attacking 
Americans, our friends, and our own interests, not enabling them like 
this amendment does.
  Further, this is an unprecedented attempt to limit the powers claimed 
by every Commander in Chief, both Democrat and Republican, since the 
War Powers Resolution was enacted over President Nixon's veto in 1973.
  This misguided amendment is actually far more restrictive than the 
War Powers Resolution itself, which recognizes the use of our Armed 
Forces for up to 60 days without legislative authorization in 
situations of war.
  This is absolutely not the time to play politics with our national 
security. Iran's aggression is not going to go away anytime soon.
  I would like to quote from a July 8 letter from the Department of 
Defense when this same proposal was considered as an amendment to the 
Defense Authorization bill. ``The Department strongly opposes this 
amendment. . . . If U.S. citizens, diplomatic facilities in the region, 
or other important national interests are threatened or attacked, we 
must be able to respond promptly and in an appropriate fashion.''
  That letter was sent 5 months before the attack on the U.S. Embassy 
in Baghdad. The concerns expressed in the letter are even more urgent 
today, given the many attacks on Americans in Iraq in recent days.
  Bottom line, this measure emboldens our adversary by tying the 
President's hands on Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, therefore, I oppose this legislation, which I believe is 
politics at its worst. It is dangerous. It ties our Commander in 
Chief's hands. It emboldens our enemy, the largest state sponsor of 
terror, the Islamic Republic of Iran. And I urge my colleagues to do 
the same.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Khanna), the author of this important amendment who has 
worked very hard on these issues for many years.
  Mr. KHANNA. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Engel for his moral 
leadership in preventing a war in Iran and his moral leadership in 
stopping the war in Yemen.
  This amendment is very simple. It would stop another regime change 
war in the Middle East.
  The gentleman from Texas says that it is dangerous, that it is 
reckless, that it emboldens our enemies. Does he really believe that 27 
Republicans, including Representative Gaetz, Representative Meadows, 
and Representative Jordan are emboldening our enemies?

                              {time}  0930

  Does he really believe that they are divisive against the President? 
I mean, they are some of the President's staunchest supporters.
  It is time, in this body, that we get past the rhetoric, past the 
sloganeering, and consider why 27 Republicans actually voted for this. 
Perhaps it has to do with our national security. Perhaps it has to do 
with reversing blunder after blunder that has cost this country 
trillions of dollars and lives.
  Let's consider the facts. The President says we want to have a pivot 
to Asia because China is our leading competitor in the 21st century. I 
agree. China's GDP, 15 percent of global GDP; the United States, at 21 
percent. They are putting their money into building rail, building 
universities.
  You know how much Iran's GDP is of global GDP? .44 percent. Future 
historians will wonder what were we thinking? What were we thinking?
  They say, well, we have got to keep the Strait of Hormuz open. Well, 
the Strait of Hormuz has been open since 1981. And by the way, China, 
Japan, South Korea, they need 65 percent of that oil. You think they 
would allow the Strait of Hormuz to close?
  Why is America bearing the cost for these wars when China hasn't been 
in a war since 1979?
  This amendment does nothing, nothing, to restrict the Commander in 
Chief to protect American interests or protect American allies. It 
gives him all of the powers of the War Powers Resolution. If we are 
hit, he has every authority to act and not come to Congress for 
authorization.
  All the amendment says is, before we get into another Middle East 
war, before we waste trillions of dollars again, that we need to come 
to Congress to authorize that. I hope that this body will vote for this 
in a bipartisan way. I hope this time even more than 27 Republicans 
will join.
  And I believe actually voting for this amendment is vindicating what 
President Trump ran on in 2016, which was a promise to the American 
people to get out of these endless wars in the Middle East.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Thornberry), the lead Republican on the House Armed Services 
Committee.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, here is a summary of the situation. On 
an issue of serious interest and concern to Members on both sides of 
the aisle, the current House leadership has brought to the floor the 
most extreme proposals, with limited debate, and absolutely no 
opportunity for any other idea to be considered.
  They are so afraid of losing a motion to recommit that they have 
overturned 100 years of precedent and practice in this House by even 
denying a motion to recommit. And thus, they have taken a serious, 
complex subject and turned it into a messaging bill that will do 
nothing except encourage our adversaries. I would suggest it is a sad 
day for the House and for the country.
  Now, specifically on this amendment, if this amendment were seriously 
implemented--and by the way, I think no administration of either party 
would seriously implement this language--but if it were, it is far more 
restrictive than the War Powers Act. It says Congress has to approve 
anything ahead of time, or we have to already wait for the attack to 
have occurred, and then the President to designate a national 
emergency. No other time could a President use force against Iran.
  So, for example, we could not have carried out the attack against

[[Page H720]]

Soleimani. Even if we had perfect intelligence that he was about to 
kill large numbers of Americans, we would have to wait until they died 
first.
  Anyone who says, oh, this doesn't restrict his ability; we can always 
defend ourselves, either you haven't read the language, or you really 
are trying not to understand the effect that the literal interpretation 
of this language would mean.
  We could not, under this language, enforce sanctions against Iran to 
try to keep them from getting a nuclear weapon. We could not work with 
our allies to try to keep international shipping open in the Persian 
Gulf. We could not engage in cyber operations, even to protect 
ourselves, until after the attack had already occurred.
  Attorneys at DOD believe that at least it would call into serious 
question our ability to defend Israel if it were attacked by Iran or 
its proxies.
  This language is extreme. It is irresponsible on subject, on 
substance, tying the President's hands from defending the country.
  Now, as I said, there are lots of people who are concerned about this 
issue, but I do not believe that they have understood or thought 
through the effects of this language.
  One other point. You cannot ignore what is happening in the world. 
Things are still a little tense between us and Iran, so why bring it up 
this week, with those tensions still fresh on everybody's mind? I 
believe the only effect will be to encourage Iran.
  So bringing this measure to the floor, in this way, at this time, is 
irresponsible for our Nation's security and for the integrity of the 
House.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Let me say, with respect to the gentleman's statement about process, 
when our colleagues on the other side of the aisle were in charge, they 
struck and replaced language in a Senate-passed bill 15 times in the 
last two Congresses, and this is doing the same thing, which is exactly 
what they did.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Garamendi).
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, I have enormous respect for my colleagues 
on the Armed Services Committee. This particular piece of legislation 
that was brought, it was amended into my bill, H.R. 550, and was 
debated for more than an hour and a half in the Armed Services 
Committee and on the floor when the National Defense Authorization Act 
was enacted. It has been thoroughly reviewed.
  And, with all due respect, it is not the end of the world. But it is 
the reassertion of Congress for our constitutional responsibilities.

  Since I first came to Congress in 2009, I have authored legislation 
and voted consistently to repeal the 2002 AUMF, which is really a very 
open-ended authorization for the President to do virtually anything he 
wants.
  Yesterday, in a hearing we heard, in an unclassified portion of that 
hearing, from the Pentagon's lawyers that essentially said the 2002 
AUMF allows the President to do anything with any threat that emanates 
from Iraq. We should consider that seriously; that if, in fact, that is 
their justification and, in fact, that is also written into the 
President's, or the White House's view of this legislation; any threat 
emanating from Iraq, at any time, into the future. Consider that.
  There could be no more powerful reason for us than to terminate the 
2002 AUMF with regard to Iraq and come to our senses. When there is an 
issue, bring it to the floor, and allow us to debate how we should deal 
with Iraq or Iran or any other threat in that area.
  Just going into some detail here. The War Powers Act is not 
eliminated by any of this legislation. It remains in effect. And the 
President has the authority under the War Powers Act and under Article 
II of the Constitution to protect America from imminent attack. That 
doesn't change. None of that changes.
  But what does change is that we are bringing back unto ourselves the 
power that the Constitution gives to us for very good reason; that is, 
war is a serious business; between Iraq and Afghanistan, probably 
several trillion dollars, depending upon the estimate and the cost of 
maintaining our veterans into the future; $2 trillion, maybe more. 
Lives lost on every side of the war. And it goes on and on and on.
  Indeed, Trump came to office saying he is going to end endless wars. 
This is our opportunity to reassert our constitutional authority and, 
most importantly, our responsibility. We should do that.
  We can talk process forever, and we seem to want to talk process more 
than the reality.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from California an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, bottom line, for too long we have failed 
our responsibility. We really must act to repeal the 2002 Authorization 
for the Use of Military Force in Iraq, and to set clear parameters 
about further action against Iran.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McClintock).
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, this amendment forbids the President 
from taking action that he can't take anyway. With or without this 
amendment, the President cannot attack Iran, or any country, without 
Congressional authorization unless it attacks us. And even then, his 
powers are limited to ordering defensive actions unless Congress acts.
  The attack on Soleimani in Iraq was against an enemy combatant in a 
war zone that was authorized by Congress. It was not an attack on Iran.
  The only practical effect of this amendment is to send a message of 
irresolution to our enemies, and to take a cheap shot at the President 
by implying he would do something he cannot do.
  Now, the Lee amendment, coming next, repeals the AUMF that Congress 
adopted when it foolishly authorized the Iraq war in 2002.
  Under our Constitution, only Congress can start a war. But after 
that, only the President can wage it or conduct the negotiations to end 
it. You cannot unring a bell, and you cannot unstart a war. Once 
unleashed, the war-making authority continues until it is terminated by 
treaty or agreement.
  So here are the lessons of this whole sorry saga in Iraq. Congress 
should declare war only when our country is attacked. When we declare 
war, we must put the full resources, resolve, attention, fury, and 
might of this Nation behind it, and see it through as quickly and 
decisively as possible.
  And most of all, having handed the President that power, and having 
sent our troops into battle, Congress must stand behind its decision, 
no matter how long or hard that road may be.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Castro), the vice chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the 
chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation.
  Mr. CASTRO. Mr. Speaker, this month, the American people were 
unwillingly taken to the brink of war at the reckless direction of this 
administration. As a coequal branch of government, we must ensure that 
no President can take any military action without coming to Congress 
first.
  Repealing the 2002 AUMF and passing the No War Against Iran Act will 
prevent any future escalation or military action without the full 
consideration and consent of this body. At the same time, they preserve 
the military's ability to take actions in self-defense to protect our 
forces.
  The American people are tired of unnecessary wars that leave our 
country less safe. It is our responsibility as elected Representatives 
to prevent our Nation from entering an unnecessary war with Iran. These 
measures are critical in that respect.
  We cannot allow recklessness to lead us into a protracted conflict 
that is not in our interests and will lead to suffering.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Lamborn).
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this 
amendment.
  You know, I have seen thousands of amendments during my time here in 
Congress, but this is the most dangerous I have ever seen. It is far 
more restrictive than the War Powers Resolution, and it is historic in 
that it handcuffs the President in advance by

[[Page H721]]

undermining his ability to protect American citizens whom Iran 
continues to try to harm.
  No Member of Congress wants to be at war with Iran, if given the 
chance, but deterrence is achieved through credible strength, not by 
publicly tying the hands of the Commander in Chief in advance.
  While no American wants to be at war with Iran, Iran believes it is 
certainly at war with America.

                              {time}  0945

  Now this amendment gives Iran's terrorist forces freedom of movement 
throughout the region, allowing them to plan and prepare attacks on the 
U.S. Forces with impunity.
  The rulers of Iran are an evil regime and have been for a long time. 
They were designated a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984, after 
killing 241 marines in Beirut. Today, it is the source of chaos in the 
Middle East, fostering conflict throughout the region and fueling wars 
in Yemen and Syria which have caused death and suffering on an 
apocalyptic scale, and yet this amendment would require the President 
to wait until after our troops have been attacked to use force against 
the terrorist forces of Iran.
  And that is not all. Then he has to wait until Congress gets its act 
together to authorize a response. He could only use force to defend our 
troops, under the language of this amendment, ``if Congress enacts 
specific statutory authorization for such use of force.''
  Our troops conducting counter-ISIS missions in Iraq and Syria will be 
proactively prevented from taking action against Iranian forces or 
proxy forces to stop an imminent attack.
  So passage of this amendment rewards the Iranian regime's growing 
aggression and it emboldens the IRGC, a designated terrorist 
organization, and their proxy forces in Iraq and Syria, granting 
legitimacy and freedom of movement to the world's number one state 
sponsor of terrorism.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this historically ill-advised 
and dangerous amendment.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Brown).
  Mr. BROWN of Maryland. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Congressman 
Khanna for his hard work on this amendment.
  All we have heard from our friends across the aisle this morning is a 
parade of horribles unsubstantiated in fact or law. In fact, we brought 
together a bipartisan coalition to reassert in this body our 
constitutional duty in matters of war and peace.
  After nearly two decades in the Middle East, Americans have tired of 
endless wars. We have lost far too many lives and spent far too much 
money with little progress.
  President Trump's reckless escalations with Iran and his abandonment 
of our allies have made America and the world less safe. He has no 
strategy to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions or deter Iranian 
aggression and malign influence. His rhetoric has put our troops in 
harm's way and isolated the United States on the world stage.
  With this amendment, we assert on behalf of the American people that 
war with Iran is not in the best interests of our country; we assert 
that the President does not have a blank check to commit more American 
lives to yet another war in the Middle East; and we recommit ourselves 
to robust diplomacy and the need for an open dialogue with even our 
fiercest adversaries.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Riggleman), a veteran of the United States Air Force, who 
served in Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and 
multiple counterterrorism activities over the past two decades.
  We thank him for his service.
  Mr. RIGGLEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I stand in strong opposition to this amendment.
  Since I mission-planned the first bombing runs in Afghanistan in 
early 2001, warfare has evolved. It is fascinating to think that my 
military career started with dropping bombs.
  One of my jobs was to flush out, bury, or kill insurgents who used 
caves as places for cover. Technology was certainly in use when 
utilizing GPS-guided weapons, electro-optical and laser-guided 
missiles. We mensurated coordinates by using systems like raindrop and 
tracked our aircrews with systems like combat track.
  For us older warfighters and folks here, it was incredible then, but 
today it would be like playing tank war on an original Atari.
  Terrorists still use caves, but those caves could be in cyberspace. 
By 2018, I was working on tracking targets through a myriad of 
activities, finding gaps in vertically integrated network 
infrastructures, linking proxy groups to IED resupply, perfecting 
telephony analysis, computer network attack and identifying network 
critical touchpoints in command and control architectures. I wasn't 
just dropping bombs anymore.
  Instead of executing war, our group worked to determine as many 
asymmetric terrorist attack modalities as we could and then used 
research and development to advance new concepts, such as algorithmic 
warfare or instantaneous information sharing.
  My job, in two decades, took me from bombs to algorithms.
  This amendment is ill-timed and irresponsible and seems do coincide 
with impeachment. This act is political, without any forethought to 
what a possible AUMF would look like in this new era of asymmetric 
warfare.
  We have Iran on the ropes, have killed their number one terrorist and 
struck their command and control hierarchy in a devastating way.
  This amendment, at the bottom of page 2, states:

       No Federal funds may be obligated or expended for any use 
     of military force in or against Iran, unless Congress has 
     declared war, enacted specific statutory authorization for 
     such use of military force after the date of the enactment of 
     this act that meets the requirement of the War Powers 
     Resolution.

  Let's ensure we enact specific statutory authorization or reason way 
before we remove statutory authority already in place.
  Does this amendment restrict use of resources already in place if 
Iran employs cyberattack, critical infrastructure attack, electronic 
warfare, chemical attack, biological attack, or any other attack 
modalities that terrorists like to employ?
  And what if terrorist-specific modalities can be used where Iran 
supports terror operations in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, 
Lebanon, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain; is the United States then limited to 
new resource allocation to defend forces?

  The speed of warfare is intense. And let's make no mistake: Congress 
cannot always move at the speed of warfare in a time of asymmetric 
kinetic--think airplanes--or nonkinetic--think electric power 
infrastructure and military communications network--attack. That is why 
we have a Commander in Chief. That is why we have Article II of the 
Constitution. That is why our Founders made it this way. Sometimes 
military force is not war.
  Of course we must preserve Article I powers. Let's approach this fix 
in a way that preserves our Constitution and considers the 
nongeographic threat posture we live in today.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, let me just say that the President always has 
a legal right to defend America, U.S. forces and embassies, and this 
resolution explicitly exempts the defensive actions described in the 
War Powers Resolution.
  The War Powers Resolution has been around since 1973, and it has 
never prevented the President from defending America.
  Again, this amendment just enforces the text of the War Powers 
Resolution.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Moulton), 
not only a Member of this body, but a combat veteran.
  I thank him for his service.
  Mr. MOULTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  When I led marines in Iraq, they asked me a lot of questions. Some 
were simple, like: How do I send a letter home to my parents? Some were 
more difficult, like: What kind of rocket do I need to use against this 
building?
  But the single hardest question I got was: Sir, why are we here? It 
came from marines of all backgrounds, all political stripes. And it was 
rooted in the fact that we got to Iraq care of a President who used 
false intelligence and a Congress that failed to do its job.
  Too many Americans died in Iraq because we did not fulfill our 
constitutional responsibility.

[[Page H722]]

  Now, nothing in this amendment takes away the Commander in Chief's 
ability to defend ourselves; in fact, it cites the War Powers 
Resolution. But it does make it very clear that Congress has not 
authorized the President to go to war with Iran. That is a message that 
we need to send today.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New 
Mexico (Ms. Haaland).
  Ms. HAALAND. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  The President's reckless behavior unnecessarily escalated an already 
simmering conflict with Iran. The assassination of General Qasem 
Soleimani, without consulting Congress, led us to the brink of war.
  While we have taken a step back from the ledge, the President's 
actions had severe and fatal consequences. Fifty of our brave 
servicemembers suffered traumatic brain injuries, and 176 innocent 
civilians on a commercial airline were tragically killed by retaliatory 
missile strikes.
  Now is the time to reduce tensions and engage in good faith 
diplomacy. The American people have made it clear that we do not want a 
war with Iran.
  It is long past time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional 
authority over the power to wage war. I urge my colleagues to do this 
by passing the No War Against Iran Act.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Wyoming (Ms. Cheney), the distinguished chair of the Republican 
Conference.
  Ms. CHENEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. McCaul for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, the measures that we are voting on and debating today 
are unconstitutional, they are partisan, and they are dangerous for 
America's national security.
  The House already debated and voted on both of these bills during the 
NDAA process last year. Both were rejected, rightly, and stripped from 
the final NDAA for a reason.
  Now Speaker Pelosi is choosing to put this legislation on the floor 
once again in order to weaken the President just as the Democrats did 
with their unconstitutional War Powers Resolution earlier this month.
  Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats are so unsure of their own 
substantive case that they are hiding behind House rules to make sure 
that Republicans can't even bring any amendment to this legislation.
  I wish this were a surprise, but it is, unfortunately, more of the 
same abuse of power we have become accustomed to under the Democratic 
majority in this House. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats continue to 
demonstrate they hate the President so much that they will not even 
stand with him when he kills the world's deadliest terrorist. 
Representative Khanna's measure today would tie the President's hands 
at a time when he needs flexibility most.
  Earlier this month, Mr. Speaker, the President took action to protect 
American troops, to defend our national security, when he killed the 
terrorist Qasem Soleimani. His decisive strike against Soleimani made 
the world a safer place.
  In carrying out this action, President Trump relied on several 
authorities, including his Article II powers and the 2002 AUMF, the 
measure my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are attempting to 
repeal today.
  The bills before us will undermine the deterrence established by 
President Trump. They will embolden Iran. They will make conflict more, 
not less, likely.
  Weakness, Mr. Speaker, is provocative, and both of these measures 
convey weakness.
  Representative Khanna's bill is a serious constitutional 
transgression:
  It would call into question whether the President could defend our 
closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, without first getting approval 
from 535 Members of the House and the Senate;

  It would call into question whether he could protect our diplomats in 
Iraq, who have just, in recent months, faced attacks from Iranian-
backed militias;
  It would call into question whether he could uphold the basic 
principle of freedom of navigation and defend against Iran's attacks on 
international shipping.
  Our troops are fighting today, Mr. Speaker, to protect the freedom of 
every person in this Chamber and every person across this country. They 
should never have to question whether they can defend themselves 
against America's enemies, but Representative Khanna's measure would 
sow exactly this kind of doubt.
  This bill ignores a key historical reality: Iran has been at war with 
the United States for four decades. The regime has been designated the 
world's leading state sponsor of terrorism for years on end. Hundreds 
of troops have died at the hands of Iranian-backed militias.
  As the U.S. faces these adversaries, it is absolutely critical that 
the President retain the flexibility to act swiftly and decisively when 
our interests or forces are threatened.
  It is time for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop 
playing politics with the security of our Nation. I urge my colleagues 
to vote against these measures today.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, let me say that America's Constitution laws 
don't really convey weakness. Enforcing those laws is what keeps 
America strong. And when any President does not follow the law, this 
Congress must act, and that is what we are trying to do now.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Well, hating all things Obama, Trump impulsively tore up the nuclear 
deal with Iran, even though all of his intelligence agencies, all of 
the other signatories, the inspectors, agreed they were in compliance.

                              {time}  1000

  He said he would get a better deal as a master negotiator, through a 
unilateral campaign of maximum pressure, and bring stability to the 
region.
  Instead, he has triggered steadily escalating tensions, culminating 
in the January 3 assassination of Soleimani, bringing the U.S. to the 
brink of war with Iran.
  The Bush invasion of Iraq under phony intelligence provided by Vice 
President Cheney was the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of 
the United States of America, and we are still seeing the 
repercussions, but a war with Iran would be worse.
  Trump says he doesn't need to consult with Congress for a war in 
Iran. We hear from the other side that Congress asserting its 
constitutional authority regarding declaration of war is dangerous.
  I tell you what is dangerous: an impulsive Commander in Chief 
embroiling the United States in yet another endless war in the Middle 
East.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Doggett).
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, Trump has no plan, no strategy in the 
Middle East, but this self-described ``stable genius,'' who tells us he 
is smarter than our generals, smarter than our military and 
intelligence leaders, he wants sole control over whether our Nation is 
plunged into a war with Iran.
  Today, we say: No, Mr. President. You are not yet the tyrant that you 
wish to become. You defied military judgment by rejecting the Iran 
nuclear agreement. You abruptly abandoned our Kurdish allies, so vital 
to the fight against ISIS and terrorism, and you have taken us to the 
brink of war with an assassination of a foreign leader without any 
imminent threat demonstrated, only double-talk to explain that 
assassination.
  It is time to put the brakes on his dangerous pursuits.
  We reject this reckless and impulsive escalation, the endless 
bloodshed, and the lack of vision beyond promoting his own selfish 
interests.
  It is Congress that our Constitution vests with responsibility to 
declare war.
  If 1776 stood for anything, it was that America would not be ruled by 
a king or one who today aspires to be an authoritarian.
  This legislation will cut off funds for future war with Iran unless 
Congress authorizes war, has a specific authorization, or we face a 
true, genuine imminent threat.
  Before young Americans are again placed in harm's way, let's be sure 
it is the only choice to ensure our security and have a strategy for 
victory.

[[Page H723]]

  Today, let's set the groundwork for peace, not more architecture for 
endless war.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Members are further reminded to address their remarks to the Chair 
and not to a perceived viewing audience.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kansas (Mr. Watkins), a veteran of the United States Army with 8 years 
of combat service in the Middle East.
  Mr. WATKINS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
McCaul) for yielding.
  With respect to my friend from Massachusetts, Representative Moulton, 
I was asked tough questions in the Middle East as well by my soldiers. 
I was asked: ``How do we kill our enemy?'' And I was asked, perhaps 
more jarring: ``How do we live and go home?''
  We need two things on the front lines. We need speed, and we need 
lethality. This body has proven itself incapable of empowering our 
troops to act with speed and lethality.
  Operations are dangerous. When I went out doing combat and rebuilding 
operations on the front lines in two conflict environments, I was very 
noticeable, Mr. Speaker. I am a White guy. I am pretty upfront about 
that. But you better believe that they know I was a soft target. It is 
important for my own survivability that, should anything happen to me, 
they know that a Reaper drone is going to rain a Hellfire missile down 
on them.
  That is deterrence. That works far better than appeasement.
  I would also like to add that we talked a lot about the process. 
Supposedly, we are attacking the process and not reality. Well, the 
reality is that I have had friends of mine tortured to death, friends 
of mine I knew very well in conflict environments.
  It is in their spirit that I say this. This is awful, what we are 
doing. We need to empower our Commander in Chief. Despite your hatred 
of his policy, we need to empower him to act with decisiveness.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to address their 
remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Judy Chu).
  Ms. JUDY CHU of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong 
support of Congress Member Khanna's resolution to prevent any funds 
from being used for an unauthorized war with Iran.
  Just a few weeks ago, America and Iran were on the brink of a 
terrible and destructive conflict. Fortunately, both sides stepped 
back, but the tensions and volatility remain.
  Make no mistake, Iran continues to be a challenge and continues to 
threaten U.S. interests in the region. However, as the Iran nuclear 
deal demonstrated, conflict is not inevitable.
  But with a President committed to a campaign of maximum pressure, we 
cannot simply wait for the next crisis and hope for the best. That is 
why we must reclaim Congress' constitutional authority to declare war 
and prevent the President from leading us into a war of choice.
  Already, the House passed a bipartisan War Powers Resolution to force 
the President to seek congressional authorization for any war with 
Iran. Today's resolution would help enforce that by prohibiting the use 
of funds for an unauthorized war.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Frankel).
  Ms. FRANKEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Engel for yielding.
  We can agree Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism 
and must not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, but let's also 
agree that diplomacy is preferred, instead of armed conflict.
  But the question today is not whether to go to war but who has the 
power to make that decision.
  Mr. Speaker, our family was blessed when my son, a United States 
marine war veteran, came home safely from tours in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, but too many loved ones were not that lucky. So when I 
came to Congress, I made a promise never to send someone else's child 
to a war that could be avoided.
  The constitutional law gives Congress, not the President, the sole 
power to declare and authorize war, and it is time that Congress owns 
up to that grave responsibility.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to have the courage to repeal the 
war authorization against Iraq and tell the President no war against 
Iran without our consent.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Waltz), a U.S. Army veteran and decorated Special Forces 
officer with 23 years of service, including combat tours in Afghanistan 
and the Middle East.
  Mr. WALTZ. Mr. Speaker, today, and as the underlying premise for this 
legislation, we are hearing a lot of things.
  Number one, we are hearing that the President recklessly escalated 
our relationship with Iran. Wrong. The President responded to a series 
of escalations from Iran, and he responded responsibly.
  Our issues with Iran, this relationship, didn't start just in the 
last few months. It started in 1979. It started with Iranians taking 
our diplomats hostage. It continued with them sponsoring the suicide 
attack on our Embassy in Beirut, with killing hundreds of marines in 
Beirut, with bombing the Khobar Towers, with killing hundreds of 
Americans in Iraq at the hands of its militias, and on and on.
  Most recently, after the Iranians attacked international shipping, 
attacked global oil supplies in Saudi Arabia, stormed our Embassy and 
killed yet another American, finally, the President responded by taking 
down the mastermind of many of these attacks over the years in a way 
that was limited, that was precise, and that had zero collateral 
damage.
  The other thing you are going to hear is that this attack on 
Soleimani, the killing of Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, was 
disproportional. I have to tell you, the families of the tens of 
thousands of people across the Middle East that Soleimani and his 
militias have killed, they didn't think it was proportional. They 
thought it was long overdue. The Gold Star families, the American Gold 
Star families who no longer have their loved ones with them holiday 
after holiday, they didn't think it was disproportional. They too 
thought it was long overdue.
  Soleimani should have been killed years ago. I am grateful the 
President finally took action.
  Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleagues how many more Americans, how 
many more families, should go without their loved ones at the hands of 
this serial human rights abuser before the President should take 
action?
  In fact, I, as a Member of Congress, would have been pounding the 
table had he not taken action, given actionable intelligence and the 
opportunity to do so.
  You are hearing that the President assassinated a foreign leader. 
Also wrong. A terrorist is a terrorist, and this individual was 
designated a terrorist by the Obama administration. The Quds Force is a 
terrorist organization, as decided by the Obama administration.
  Whether it is al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, whether it is ISIS and 
Baghdadi, or whether it is the Quds Force and Soleimani, we have an 
obligation to strike back at terrorism and to stop terrorism in its 
tracks. The President had a duty and a responsibility as Commander in 
Chief to take this action.

  Finally, you are hearing that the administration has no strategy. 
Also wrong. The administration withdrew from the Iran deal. It was a 
bad deal, narrowly focused on one aspect of its program.
  Its maximum pressure campaign is in place.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman.
  Mr. WALTZ. The Iranian economy is tanking. They came to the table in 
the first place in 2012 to enter into negotiations because the 
sanctions were working, and they will come to the table again. But this 
time, this administration will strike a better deal that encompasses 
terrorism, its missile program, and the fact that Iran is still taking 
American hostages to this day.

[[Page H724]]

Then, we will get the entirety of its nuclear program in a much better 
deal.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to step away from this partisan 
bill, to vote against these bills coming to the table, and to support 
the administration in taking on the world's leading sponsor of 
terrorism.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, let me say that if killing Soleimani was about 
retaliating for past bad acts by Iran, that is exactly when the law 
requires the President to work with the Congress for a response, not do 
a response on his own.
  The President didn't work with us. Instead, he told the American 
people there was an imminent threat, with no evidence to support that 
claim.
  Now, I don't like the Iranian regime. There are lots of things I 
don't like about them. But it doesn't mean that we just give any 
President a blank check to do whatever he wants to start a war.
  We have been through that in the past decades of endless war, with 
this body, as far as I am concerned, abrogating its responsibility and 
essentially giving the administrations of both parties blank checks.
  This is about Congress reasserting what it is supposed to do. This is 
about Congress saying only we have the power to declare war; the 
President does not have that power to declare war.

                              {time}  1015

  Now, the Khanna measure is about enforcing current law as it is 
written in the War Powers Resolution. We should not create special 
loopholes in current law for any one country, no matter how close our 
alliance or partnership is. This is not a question of whether we will 
defend our allies and partners. It is a question of which branch of 
government is responsible for making that decision.
  The War Powers Resolution could not be more clear. It is Congress who 
is responsible for authorizing the use of military force. We went 
through the entire Cold War without ever creating an exception to the 
War Powers Resolution or the Constitution when it comes to Article 5 of 
the NATO treaty. We do not need to create a loophole now.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, let me say something that I have been saying a lot 
recently. Nobody denies the fact that Iran is a bad actor. No one 
denies the fact that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in 
the world. No one is saying that the Iranian regime is a good regime or 
a regime that doesn't threaten our interests. They do threaten our 
interests.
  I am not a naive person. I don't like the regime, and I know what 
they do. But we have a way of responding, and it is not to give any 
President a blank check to do whatever he or she may want to do.
  Congress declares war according to the Constitution; not the 
President. Congress declares war. And today we are attempting to take 
back the authorization that is given to us in the United States 
Constitution and say to this President and to every President that 
comes in the future: No blank checks for war.
  We gave blank checks for the past 20 years, and we have been involved 
in one mistake after another. This is simply saying for Congress to 
reassert its authority. I am not saying that in the future there may 
not be a different decision, but the decision that should always remain 
the same is that Congress has the power to declare war; not the 
President. Congress.
  I think my friends on the other side of the aisle somehow forget 
that. They make some good points. But, again, I say, it comes back to 
this Congress to declare a war, and we are today taking that 
responsibility, grabbing the bull by the horns and saying: Enough is 
enough, where Congress just sits idly by and has no say except to 
rubberstamp whatever administration wants to go to war.
  That should stop today, and that is why we are moving ahead with this 
resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Rhode 
Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of both the amendments to H.R. 550 
under consideration today. I thank the Speaker for her courage in 
bringing these bills to the floor, and I thank the sponsors, my 
friends, Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna for their leadership.
  It is long past time for the 2002 AUMF to be repealed. This vaguely 
worded authorization of force against Iraq, which was obtained under 
false pretenses by the George W. Bush administration, has long posed a 
problem for proper congressional oversight, though at various points in 
time, both parties have shied away from taking action to rectify this.
  But now we have no choice but to act, as the Trump administration 
argues that the 2002 AUMF which justifies war against Saddam Hussein's 
Iraq apparently applies to members of the Iranian Government, even 
though the word ``Iran'' appears nowhere in the text.
  As Congress, we must assert our constitutional oversight authority in 
matters of war. Permitting this and future administrations to rely on 
an open-ended authorization of force without proper oversight, is 
nothing less than an abrogation of our duty.
  I urge each of my colleagues to support this amendment and final 
passage of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Jackson Lee). The time of the gentleman 
has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield the gentleman from Rhode Island an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Madam Speaker, if I may just respond to some arguments 
that this will undermine our rights to self-defense. The President 
always has a legal right to defend America and defend U.S. forces and 
embassies. This resolution explicitly exempts the defensive actions 
described in the War Powers Resolution.
  The War Powers Resolution has been around since 1973 and has never 
prevented the President from defending America. So that argument simply 
is baseless, and I urge all of my colleagues to support both of these 
excellent amendments.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, may I ask how much time is remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York has 3\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Texas has 6 minutes remaining.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, we have no more speakers, and I continue 
to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, it is now my honor to yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi), the Speaker of the House.
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I 
thank him for his courageous leadership in bringing this important 
legislation to the floor.
  I commend the two makers of the resolutions, Congresswoman Barbara 
Lee and Congressman Ro Khanna for their exceptional leadership, and I 
urge a positive vote on this important legislation.
  Just to put it in some perspective, as Members of Congress, our first 
responsibility is to keep the American people safe, and that includes 
both our servicemembers abroad and our families at home. Three weeks 
ago, this House honored that duty by passing the War Powers Resolution 
to limit the President's military actions regarding Iran.

  We all salute Congresswoman Slotkin for her leadership in putting 
that forth. Now we are taking additional steps to protect American 
lives and values by passing two strong pieces of legislation: 
Congresswoman Barbara Lee's legislation to repeal the 2002 Iraq 
Authorization for the Use of Military Force, AUMF, and Congressman Ro 
Khanna's legislation to prohibit funding for military action against 
Iran not authorized by Congress.
  We thank them for their longstanding leadership to protect American 
lives, and we thank all Members who have worked tirelessly on this 
priority, including Congresswoman Eshoo

[[Page H725]]

who had similar legislation in this regard.
  Members of Congress continue to have serious, urgent concerns about 
the President's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and 
about its lack of strategy moving forward. Let us just stipulate that 
we all agree that Iran is a bad actor; that they treat their people 
terribly; that they are a menace to the region; and that we have 
sanctions against them for their spreading of technologies and other 
resources to terrorists in the region.
  We don't want them to have a nuclear weapon, and I think that the 
President's decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement was wrong, 
but that is not on the floor today. What is on the floor today is for 
us to, again, honor our constitutional responsibility to protect and 
defend--we take that oath--but also to honor our responsibilities, the 
power to declare war that is written into the Constitution for the 
Congress.
  Over time, that has been, shall we say, usurped by administrations, 
both Democratic and Republican, and now, to an extent that practically 
abrogates whatever is in the Constitution.
  This morning a YouGov poll said that 60 percent of the American 
people oppose war with Iran and 68 percent want to remove all troops 
from Iraq.
  There is no appetite for war in our country. I was stunned recently 
to be with a delegation in observance of the 75th anniversary of the 
end of the victory at the Battle of the Bulge, a very decisive battle 
in World War II. There were 19,000 Americans who died in that war.
  There were all of the heads of state present, but the VIPs for us 
were the veterans who were there; some of them now, 75 years later, in 
their 90s, but still vigorous. One of them who spoke for the veterans 
talked about the band of brothers and the allies, that there was 
multilateralism, and the horrors of war, and the glory of that victory. 
But at the end of his speech he said: ``Maybe I shouldn't say this, but 
I will. I urge all of you to pray for peace.''
  I spoke to him afterward and thanked him for that and he said: ``It 
is so important.''
  Even our President Kennedy who said that we will fight any foe, pay 
any price--what he said in his inaugural address--he has said that 
unless men end war, war will end men.
  So we have to be very careful about how we engage in protecting the 
American people and remove all doubt in anybody's mind that we will. 
Think of me as a lioness. If you come near our cubs, you are dead.
  So this is not about not understanding our responsibility and our 
strength. But as warriors, that gives us even more power to be 
peacekeepers. All we are saying is: Let's do this carefully and not in 
a way that escalates.
  I remember after that weekend I got the call from the administration 
confirming that we had made the attack on Soleimani--who was a terrible 
person, no doubt about that--and I said: ``Well, why did you not inform 
the Gang of Eight as you were required to do?''
  That Gang of Eight are the four leaders, House and Senate, Democrats 
and Republicans; and the four leaders of the Intelligence Committee, 
House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans.
  ``Why did you not inform the Gang of Eight?''
  And their response was: ``We really had to keep this close.''
  You wanted to keep it ``close'' from not honoring your responsibility 
of notifying or consulting with the Congress of the United States?
  I didn't expect to hear that from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I 
did probably expect to hear it from the Secretary of Defense. But that 
cannot be the way we proceed. Congress has the constitutional 
responsibility.
  The administration has a responsibility, too, and we respect that. 
And that is why when we redid the War Powers Act it was respectful of 
the power of the President, but also the power of the Congress of the 
United States.
  They failed to appropriately notify the Congress. Then the President 
issued an insufficient War Powers Act notification that raised more 
questions than it answered, and it was classified in its entirety, 
leaving the public in the dark about our national security.
  When the President finally briefed Congress, their own party Members 
described the briefing as ``insulting and demeaning'' with one GOP 
Senator saying it was the ``worst briefing I have ever seen.''
  When the President asked me if I agreed with that characterization, I 
said: ``There is stiff competition for the worst classified briefing we 
have ever seen from this administration.''
  And now it appears that the President may have even misled Congress 
and the public about the threats facing our troops related to this 
conflict. For 2 weeks, the President insisted there were zero injuries 
or casualties from Iran's attack on our military bases, contradicting 
multiple news reports.
  But over the past week, the administration has admitted that there 
were injuries, first reporting 11 servicemembers who were diagnosed 
with traumatic brain injury, TBI, and then 34 and now 50 of our troops. 
TBI, as defined by the National Institutes of Health is: `` . . . 
damage to the brain, whether from impact, penetrating objects, blast 
waves or rapid movement of the brain within the skull'' and is a 
leading cause of death and disability for Americans.
  This serious injury is understood in both the military and medical 
communities to be the ``signature wound'' and the ``silent epidemic'' 
of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                              {time}  1030

  Yet the President minimizes our soldiers' wounds saying:
  I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I can 
say and I can report it, not very serious.
  Not very serious? That is not what the Veterans of Foreign Wars says.
  The Veterans of Foreign Wars put out a statement saying they expect 
an apology from POTUS. TBI is a serious injury and not one that can be 
taken lightly.
  Madam Speaker, I include their statement for the Record.

                     VFW Expects Apology From POTUS

                           [January 24, 2020]

       Kansas City, MO.--``In light of today's announcement from 
     the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered 
     traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran's retaliatory 
     strike and President Trump's remarks which minimized these 
     troops' injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand 
     idle on this matter.
       TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken 
     lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, 
     severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue--all injuries that 
     come with both short- and long-term effects.
       The VFW expects an apology from the president to our 
     service men and women for his misguided remarks. And, we ask 
     that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to 
     educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as 
     they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our 
     warriors require our full support more than ever in this 
     challenging environment.''--William ``Doc'' Schmitz, VFW 
     National Commander

  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, Americans have a choice: to keep the 
American people safe or to enable the administration's dangerous 
escalation which is happening again without the consent of Congress or 
the knowledge of the public.
  We want to see a strategy. What is the purpose? What is the mission? 
What is the strategy involved in this?
  Madam Speaker, I urge the President to work with Congress to advance 
an immediate and effective deescalatory strategy that prevents further 
violence.
  Our brave servicemen and -women, their families, and all Americans 
deserve smart, strong, and strategic action, not the administration's 
reckless and rash policies. Therefore, again, I urge our colleagues to 
support the Khanna amendment and the Barbara Lee amendment.
  I thank them for their leadership. I thank Chairman Engel for the 
moderation that he has brought to this, the experience that he has in 
terms of war, in terms of peace, and in terms of Congress' role in our 
foreign affairs.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
close.
  Madam Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, I am strongly in favor of 
exercising our solemn Article I authority for matters of war and peace; 
but we are not at war with Iran, we are not engaged in hostilities, and 
the President is not trying to start a war with Iran.
  I have been in the White House, and I have heard him say this 
personally. In fact, he has shown incredible restraint against Iran 
after they shot

[[Page H726]]

down our drone, after they hit 50 percent of the Saudi oil fields, 
after they killed an American, and after they wounded four soldiers.
  My Democratic colleagues know very well there are many situations 
short of war which require military action. In fact, they supported 
President Obama's thousands of unauthorized strikes in Libya which were 
not even related to the protection of Americans overseas.
  I believe it is hypocritical and dangerous for the majority to tie 
this President's hands in responding to the very real and growing 
threats that Iran and its proxies pose to Americans in the Middle East. 
As I said, they killed an American contractor and they launched a 
massive attack against our Embassy in Baghdad.
  For those Members who think it was a minor brush against the Embassy, 
look at these photos. Look at the damage that was done to our United 
States Embassy. It is absolutely disgraceful.
  Soleimani had an imminent plot when he went to Damascus, Lebanon, and 
Baghdad to meet with his number two guy to go to the Ayatollah to get 
the green light to get out further operations to kill diplomats and 
American soldiers. The idea that that strike on Soleimani was not 
justified, I don't know what more evidence was required than this.
  Then, after this, they launched antiballistic missiles against United 
States military bases. They launched dozens of ballistic missiles at 
U.S. Forces, causing, as the Speaker said, traumatic brain injury in at 
least 50 U.S. servicemen.
  Again, what more do we need?
  It is unconscionable at this point in time, with this happening at 
this time in history, to limit the President's ability to respond as 
needed to protect American lives from this vicious regime. This time I 
think the Democrats have gone too far.
  Like President Reagan said, I believe in peace through strength, and 
it is my sincere hope that we will not need to launch another strike 
like the President did against Qasem Soleimani, but it did make the 
world a safer place.
  Unfortunately, the enemy also gets a vote. If Iran doubts our resolve 
to respond forcefully, then it will surely affect their calculus moving 
forward about whether to attack America again.
  In opposing this amendment, I am standing with the Iranian people. It 
is important that they hear this. I know they are hearing this because 
I have so many Iranian friends who tell me that what we say here in 
this Chamber means something. The people of Iran are listening, and 
when they see a divided Congress, that sends the worst message at the 
absolute worst time.
  I want to let the American citizens there in the Middle East know 
that they deserve to be covered by the umbrella of our great men and 
women in uniform. They deserve the protection of our government. If 
their lives are threatened, I do not view them as a hypothetical. They 
are real people representing our country abroad, and I will not let 
them be vulnerable.
  So, Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment for 
the second time this Congress because it divides the Nation and sends a 
wrong message at the wrong time to the people of Iran.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, for too many years, Congress has allowed 
administration after administration after administration to sideline us 
in critical foreign policy matters. It is time we said enough is 
enough, particularly when it comes to when and where the United States 
military is engaged around the world.
  As I have said before, if killing Soleimani was about retaliating for 
past bad acts by Iran, then that is exactly when the law requires the 
President to work with Congress. The President didn't work with us. 
Instead, he told the American people there was an imminent threat with 
no evidence to support that claim, once again moving ahead and making 
Congress irrelevant.
  We have seen that done with Chief Executives of both parties, and it 
is time we stood up and said: No, enough is enough; only Congress can 
declare war.
  I know I sound like a broken record, but I think that is the crucial 
spot of what we are talking about here. Congress cannot just be swept 
along for the ride. Congress has the power to declare war.
  The American people are sick of perpetual war. If we don't do 
everything in our power to make sure this administration cannot plunge 
us into another war that we don't want, then we will have let the 
American people down.
  Again, for too many years, Congress has allowed administration after 
administration after administration to sideline us on critical foreign 
policy matters; and, again, it is time to say enough is enough. That is 
what we are attempting to do today, and that is why I urge my 
colleagues to support this very important bill.
  Madam Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote, and I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. CROW. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the bills offered 
by Representatives Lee and Khanna to reassert Congress's constitutional 
role in authorizing the use of military force.
  It was an honor to serve my country in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I 
also witnessed the consequences of sending Americans into harm's way 
without defined goals and a clear exit strategy.
  For the past 17 years, that authorization has sent hundreds of 
thousands of American men and women to war in Iraq. We are now faced 
with the prospect of another confrontation in the Middle East, this 
time with Iran, that risks repeating some of the mistakes of the past.
  The most solemn responsibility of Congress is the decision to send 
our men and women into harm's way. Authorizations granted by Congress 
should be revoked once the original purpose has ended. But Congress has 
allowed authorizations to live far past their intended life and 
abdicated its Constitutional authority in matters of war and diplomacy. 
Until now.
  The bills offered by my colleagues reclaim Congress's constitutional 
role in determining when we send our sons, daughters, mothers, and 
fathers to fight on our behalf. They ensure that the American people 
have a voice in making such significant decisions. Through the 
leadership of my colleagues, this chamber is ensuring that any future 
use of military force must be subject to the rigorous debate the 
American people expect.
  I applaud the leadership of Representatives Lee and Khanna on this 
important issue and I urge my colleagues to join me in reasserting 
Congress's role in deciding when to use military force by voting yes on 
these bills.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 
2456, a resolution to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military 
Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  Madam Speaker, the President's interpretation of the 2002 AUMF as a 
blank check for military intervention in the Middle East is certainly 
troublesome. It is because of this abuse that the United States has 
been involved in a seemingly endless conflict in the region, as 
demonstrated in the Administration's justification for the recent 
strikes in Iran.
  A repeal of the 2002 AUMF is a step in the right direction towards 
ending the cycle of military interventionism in the Middle East. Our 
foreign policy must instead be guided by diplomacy and collective 
dialogue; only with military action as a last resort can we build peace 
in the region.
  This bill will send a clear message to the President that the power 
to declare war begins and ends in Congress. I plan to vote in favor of 
it and would urge my colleagues to do the same.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 811, the previous question is ordered on 
this portion of the divided question.
  The question is: Will the House concur in the Senate amendment with 
the House amendment specified in section 4(a) of House Resolution 811?
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam 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, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 811, the portion of the divided question 
comprising the amendment specified in section 4(b) of House Resolution 
811 shall now be considered.
  The text of House amendment to Senate amendment specified in section 
4(b) of House Resolution 811 is as follows:
       In the matter proposed to be inserted by the amendment of 
     the Senate, strike sections 4 and 5 and insert the following:


[[Page H727]]


  


  TITLE II--REPEAL OF AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST 
                        IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002

     SEC. 201. REPEAL OF AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE 
                   AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002.

       The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq 
     Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) 
     is hereby repealed.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This portion shall be debatable for 1 hour 
equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) and the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. McCaul) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking my friend, Representative Lee 
from California, for her hard work on this amendment. As you know, she 
is the newest newlywed in the House of Representatives, so we 
congratulate her on a great new marriage and wish her and her husband a 
long life together.
  She is a principled, passionate leader when it comes to standing up 
for Congress' role and responsibility in foreign affairs, particularly 
war powers. I am proud to be a cosponsor of her legislation. I am glad 
we are able to partner on such an important issue.
  Madam Speaker, it has been nearly two decades since the House voted 
to authorize the war in Iraq. I wish we could have that vote to do over 
again knowing what we know now. We were led into war on phony 
intelligence and found our brave servicemembers bogged down there for 
years at such tragic costs.
  The war is over, and it is long past time that the authority Congress 
granted to fight that war should be removed from the books--because we 
see how it is being misused.
  Earlier this month we heard the argument that the Iraq war 
authorization would justify military action against Iran. Here is how 
the argument goes:
  The executive branch says that this authorization can be used to deal 
with any threat emanating--I stress the word, ``emanating''--from Iraq. 
Yes, you heard it right, emanating from Iraq.
  That is just wrong. It is not what the authorization says. It is not 
what Congress intended when it passed that resolution. I was here. I 
remember it. It dealt with threats coming from Saddam Hussein's Iraq. 
Saddam Hussein is dead. His government and regime are long gone.
  This war authorization has no relevance to present-day Iraq, and it 
should be repealed. It should not be used to launch more military 
action.
  Now, we will likely hear an argument that repealing the Iraq war 
resolution would undermine our ability to combat terrorism around the 
world. But let's be clear about something: the Iraq war resolution--
what we are seeking to repeal today--was never intended to authorize 
our fight against ISIS or other associated terrorist groups, and it is 
not needed as authorization for any of these operations.
  There is another existing authorization for the use of military 
force, the measure that Congress passed after 9/11 to deal with al-
Qaida. I don't agree with the administration's overly expansive 
interpretation of the 9/11 AUMF. I think they have stretched it well 
beyond what Congress ever intended. But even this administration has 
said clearly that they can continue current counterterrorism operation 
using the post-9/11 authorization even if we repeal the 2002 Iraq war 
authorization.
  The only time this administration has pointed to the 2002 Iraq war 
authorization as its only source of congressional authority is the 
strike against Soleimani, something Congress never intended. We cannot 
allow this President or any President to claim Congress has already 
authorized him to attack Iranian officials.
  If the President wants to use military force against Iran, then he 
has to come to Congress, plain and simple. An administration certainly 
shouldn't be twisting a decades-old authorization to justify plunging 
us into a war the American people don't want and that Congress has not 
authorized.
  I get back to what I said before: Only Congress can declare war, not 
the President, and we have had violation after violation after 
violation about this important matter. It is time that Congress 
reassert its constitutional role in declaring war or not declaring war, 
so it is long past time that we repeal this outdated war authorization. 
The House has already voted to do so with bipartisan support.
  I hope all of my colleagues will join me in supporting this measure 
and taking these important steps in reclaiming Congress' authority over 
war powers.
  I thank Ms. Lee, who has the foresight to be courageous and stand all 
alone because she believes something is right. That is what we are 
trying to do now. We are trying to do what is right, what is right for 
our country.
  Again, what is right for our country is that Congress needs to grab 
the bull by the horns. Congress has the authority to declare war, not 
the President, not any President--Congress. We are reclaiming Congress' 
authority over war powers the way it was intended.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1045

  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I strongly oppose repealing the Authorization for Use 
of Military Force to ``defend the national security of the United 
States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.''
  We should not be repealing current counterterrorism authorities 
unless and until we have replaced them with an updated AUMF that 
clearly allows us to confront the enemies that continue to threaten our 
Nation, our people, and our allies.
  As I have stated before, I would prefer a new, updated AUMF. But in 
the 13 months our Democratic colleagues have been in charge, we have 
seen no such proposal from the majority. In fact, they haven't even 
started that conversation.
  None of us want to see the extension of any conflict beyond what is 
necessary, but we also have learned that premature disengagement can 
have huge costs, such as when the Obama administration's rush to 
withdraw U.S. troops out of Iraq contributed to the deadly rise of ISIS 
in Iraq and Syria and the formation of the caliphate.
  The 2002 Iraq AUMF was not only used against Saddam Hussein; it also 
identified al-Qaida and ``other international terrorist organizations, 
including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United 
States citizens.''
  So those on the other side who say this only applies to Saddam 
Hussein, that is absolutely incorrect. It applies to international 
terrorist organizations like al-Qaida.
  Members will recall that al-Qaida in Iraq later became ISIS, a brutal 
transnational terrorist organization that continues to threaten 
American lives and interests in our homeland. And for that reason, 
President Obama used the 2002 AUMF as legal authority for his military 
operations against ISIS in Iraq.
  The current administration opposes repealing the 2002 AUMF because it 
``remains an important source of additional authority for military 
operations against ISIS in Iraq and to defend the national security of 
the United States against threats emanating from Iraq.''
  As my colleagues know, these vital counter-ISIS operations continue. 
Repealing that authorization without a replacement endangers not only 
the United States' national security, but our coalition partners, most 
notably, Iraq.
  The 2002 AUMF was most recently invoked for our January 2 strike on 
Qasem Soleimani, Iran's mastermind of terror, who killed more than 600 
Americans, wounded thousands more, and orchestrated the fiery New 
Year's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. It was a targeted, 
defensive strike in Iraq against a designated terrorist by the Obama 
administration who threatened U.S. Forces inside Iraq.
  In the 2 months beforehand, Soleimani and his proxies launched a 
dozen attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq, killing one American and 
wounding four U.S. servicemen near Kirkuk on December 27. And then, 
furthermore, as we saw in the photographs

[[Page H728]]

from the previous argument, the Embassy was attacked in a very strong 
way.
  I don't know what more evidence the President needed to respond under 
Article II in self-defense than this, Madam Speaker. And if he did not 
do so, he would be derelict in his responsibility.
  And if he didn't stop the plot that we know Soleimani was getting 
ready to move forward after he went to Damascus and Lebanon and Baghdad 
to go to the Ayatollah to get the green light to kill more Americans 
and diplomats, then what would the American people say?
  What if we had a storm on the Embassy like in 1979, then what?
  I think the President was restrained. I think he did the right thing 
at the right time. It was an appropriate use of this AUMF, which states 
that Iraq ``poses a continuing threat to the national security of the 
United States . . . by, among other things . . . harboring terrorist 
organizations.''
  Contrary to some of the rhetoric we heard 3 weeks ago, the 
administration does not claim that the 2002 AUMF gives them a blank 
check--as we have heard quite a bit on the other side--to attack Iran.
  To the contrary--this is very important--the administration, and the 
President has told me personally, they have stated publicly that it has 
never interpreted the 2002 Iraq AUMF to provide authority for strikes 
inside of Iran or for war with Iran. Soleimani was in Baghdad, 
designated by Obama as a terrorist.
  The President is also not seeking war with Iran. He has said this 
time and time again, and he gets misquoted on this time and time again.
  The President has shown great restraint time and again after Iran's 
increasing provocations. I was actually quite surprised, after our U.S. 
military drones were struck down, there wasn't a response. And as he 
told the Nation and the world, he wants a deal that allows Iran to 
thrive and prosper.
  Repealing this AUMF does not retroactively remove the President's 
ability to order his justified and limited strike on Soleimani. A 
repeal standing alone will only send the wrong message to our troops, 
our partners, our enemies, and our terrorist adversaries in Iraq.
  To be sure, the 2002 AUMF should be replaced with new authorities--
after all, it is almost 20 years old--that reflect current 
circumstances and provide our men and women in uniform with clear 
support for their critical missions that protect us. And it also gives 
the American people a voice in that.
  I deeply regret that my colleagues are not serious enough about 
exercising our Article I authority to put forward a real, updated 
alternative to counter the persistent terrorist threats that we see in 
Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
  Therefore, I see today's effort as nothing more than a political 
message that does nothing to that end. It ties the hands of the 
President at a time when he is responsibly facing down a very dangerous 
Iranian regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the largest state sponsor 
of terrorism, that lives by the motto, ``Death to America.''

  These critical constitutional issues of war and peace deserve better 
than that. I think if we are serious, we will work on both sides of the 
aisle. I know my Conference has great interest in working on a 
modernized 2002 AUMF, and I hope the other side can join us in that 
effort in the following year.
  But, with respect to this, with no replacement, it would be very 
dangerous. It would tie our hands' ability to attack ISIS in Iraq. I 
think it is ill-advised, and, for that reason, I oppose it.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lee), the newlywed and author of this important 
amendment.
  Ms. LEE of California. Madam Speaker, first let me thank the chairman 
of our Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Engel, for his kind words of 
congratulations and also for his persistent and steady leadership on 
this issue and so many issues.
  I also want to take a moment to thank Speaker Pelosi; Majority Leader 
Hoyer; our whip, Mr. Clyburn; and also Congresswoman Jayapal and 
Congressman Pocan. And I have to give a shout-out to my staff; our 
legislative director, Emma Mehrabi; my chief of staff, Julie Nickson; 
all of Team Lee; Mr. Engel's staff; all of our staffs who have come 
together, who have exhibited such an unwavering dedication and 
patriotism on this issue.
  My bipartisan amendment before us today, Madam Speaker, would repeal 
the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force, AUMF.
  It is important to note that nearly 75 percent of current Members 
were not serving when this AUMF was passed in 2002. I have long fought 
to repeal this. And what we knew then is that the 2003 invasion of Iraq 
was based on lies told by our own executive branch.
  Let me remind you now that, in 2002, I stood here and urged us not to 
rush into war. I offered an amendment to the AUMF that was presented 
that would have prevented the war by requiring the inspectors to allow 
verifiable information with regard to the alleged weapons of mass 
destruction before we took military action.
  That amendment received 72 votes. But had it passed, it would have 
exposed the false intelligence that the war was based on. There were no 
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That is what the 2002 
authorization authorized and was about.
  So I stand here once again urging Congress to do its job, this time 
by repealing the long-outdated and unnecessary 2002 AUMF. Not only is 
it not needed for any current counterterrorism operations, but 
repealing it would have absolutely no impact on the administration's 
ongoing military operations.
  Let me be clear: Congress passed the 2002 AUMF to address the 
perceived threat posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. military 
deployments and operations carried out under this AUMF, dubbed 
Operation Iraqi Freedom, officially ended in 2011. Almost 18 years 
after the resolution's passage, the United States recognizes the 
sovereignty of Iraq and considers the Iraqi Government a key ally.
  Madam Speaker, leaving this authorization on the books is both 
dangerous and irresponsible. Doing so would allow any administration to 
use it for military action that Congress never intended to authorize. 
It will continue to allow these wars without end.
  Congress must make clear that any President must seek specific 
authorization for the use of force against Iran or any country. The 
2002 AUMF was specifically authorized to rid Iraq of weapons of mass 
destruction which did not exist. That is why this is so important and 
something that we have already voted on, as our chairman indicated.
  Make no mistake: We are here today to rein in this President and any 
President, rein in their abuse of executive power, and to make clear 
that Congress has the sole constitutional duty to declare war and 
authorize the use of force.
  This should not be a partisan issue. Part of that responsibility is 
in ensuring that authorizations do not remain indefinitely, leaving 
them subject to use far outside those which Congress intended.
  For example, the Trump administration has said that the 2002 AUMF has 
been used to justify attacks on Iran. These arguments have absolutely 
no basis in reality, underscoring the need for immediate action by 
Congress. That is why the outdated AUMF must be repealed, to prevent 
further abuse by this administration. We can't allow any irrational 
decisionmaking to drag us into an unnecessary and catastrophic war of 
choice in the Middle East.
  And, Madam Speaker, let me just remind you of this. As the daughter 
of a veteran who served valiantly in two wars, I know personally the 
cost and consequences of war. I know that they are grave.
  Several thousands of our brave servicemen were killed, thousands more 
have permanent injuries, seen and unseen. We have witnessed the 
horrific rise of suicide and deep strains placed on our military 
families, and we must always remember the tens of thousands of Iraqis 
killed as well and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent.
  Of course, the unnecessary U.S. invasion of Iraq also sparked, yes, 
the rise of ISIS and allowed Iran to establish a presence in Iraq.
  Madam Speaker, we all know that our top priority is to protect our 
national security, our brave troops, our

[[Page H729]]

allies, and the American people. It is past time to finally exercise 
our constitutional duty and muster the courage to vote on matters of 
war and peace.
  Madam Speaker, I again thank Mr. Engel and my colleagues, and I urge 
them to vote ``yes'' on this amendment.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry), whose four decades of uniformed service to 
our Nation included 40 combat missions in Iraq before his retirement 
last year as a general in the United States Army.

                              {time}  1100

  Mr. PERRY. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas.
  Madam Speaker, it wasn't part of my remarks, but from my standpoint, 
when I was in Iraq, we found weapons of mass destruction, so let's just 
make that part of the Record.
  None of us want to be in a war with Iran, with Iraq, with anybody, 
for that matter--and that includes the President. None of us want that. 
And many of us on this side agree with our colleagues that this needs 
to be updated to reflect current circumstances, current enemy 
capabilities, and different tactics, techniques, and procedures used by 
our enemy. But I wonder where my colleagues in this Congress have been. 
They would have you believe that they were impotent, that they were 
helpless, unable to do anything about this.
  I listened to the Speaker's remarks, and she said the President 
didn't inform her of the strike against Soleimani. For 8 years, Madam 
Speaker, nearly 4,000 people were taken off the planet by the previous 
administration. Do the math; that is over one a day. I wonder if the 
Speaker got a call every single day that said: ``We are going to take 
this terrorist off the battlefield.'' I highly doubt that.
  The question is about how we are going to change the policy, because 
like I said, many of us agree the policy needs to be updated. I would 
hope that this Congress, that any Congress, has the courage to 
understand that when we sent our finest into battle in Iraq, that they 
are fighting two enemies, but we are only allowed to engage one.
  Right now, as we speak, we have servicemembers in Iraq that are 
depending on us to have their backs. But what are we going to do? We 
are going to rip the rug right out from underneath their feet because 
suddenly, under this administration, Congress suddenly has the courage.
  I offered an AUMF 7 years ago and talked to my friends on the other 
side of the aisle. They didn't want to talk about it at all, nothing.
  Our servicemembers expect us to have their backs. We welcome the 
debate, but there is no debate. This should be in the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs, where we can discuss these very weighty issues. We are 
looking forward to that; we want that. But, no, this is a coin bill 
taken from the Senate and sent back over here with this put into it so 
we would have no debate. They don't want debate.
  Our enemies are watching, and they are waiting. They are waiting for 
Iraq to become a free-fire zone, which is what it is going to become.
  The last time, after the 4,500 untimely deaths of your American 
citizens, the executive decision was just to walk away--no ramp down, 
no policy, no strategy. Just walk away and leave the family members of 
those who had lost their loved ones wondering: What was that for?
  You know what we have learned from that, Madam Speaker? Apparently 
nothing.
  We want to do this, and we want to do this correctly, but this isn't 
the correct way to do it, and we should not abandon our servicemembers 
in combat.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Connolly), a valued member of the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of my good friend 
Barbara Lee's longstanding amendment, which would repeal the 2002 
Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq.
  More than 17 years ago, Congress passed a resolution authorizing the 
equivalent of war with Iraq, a war I opposed then. It stretches 
credulity to claim that same resolution now extends authorization to 
the President's order to assassinate a foreign leader from Iran. Yet, 
that is precisely what the White House would have you believe.
  This AUMF is obsolete, and it is far past time that Congress make 
crystal clear to the administration, our allies, and our adversaries, 
as well as our constituents, the circumstances under which we would 
authorize engagement by our men and women in uniform.
  The Lee amendment repeals a misguided AUMF that has had disastrous 
consequences, and it reasserts Congress' Article I authorities as 
provided and mandated by the Constitution of the United States.
  Let's live up to our constitutional responsibility. Madam Speaker, 
let's support this amendment and get back to constitutional 
responsibilities and powers.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Bacon), who was deployed to the Middle East four times 
during his 30-year career with the United States Air Force before his 
retirement as a brigadier general.
  Mr. BACON. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this 
amendment and to the disrespectful manner in which it was brought to 
the people's House.
  It is strategically reckless and naive, and both amendments 
politicize our most serious constitutional obligation and willfully 
bypass regular order just to score political points against our 
President.
  Like many of my colleagues and my fellow veterans in the House, I 
agree it is long past due to update the two Authorizations for Use of 
Military Force now in effect. We owe our citizens and servicemembers an 
honest debate on the use of military force. Madam Speaker, 18 years is 
too long for this AUMF. We are not living up to our constitutional 
duties.
  But let's be clear: This is not what this amendment does. Rather than 
confront reality that American security at home requires the principled 
use of force abroad, repealing the 2002 AUMF without a replacement will 
trigger our immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
  Our military leaders have been clear. Without the 2002 AUMF or a 
suitable replacement, they cannot continue their missions in Iraq and 
defend themselves against Iranian-backed militias, the same militias 
that killed another American last month and attacked us again just 3 
days ago.
  Ask yourselves: Who benefits from this vote? It is Iran. Who loses 
from this vote? It is Iraq, the Kurds, and every U.S. partner in the 
Middle East. Our security will be compromised.

  To our Democratic colleagues, you may think this is a free vote, that 
the Senate may not support or a veto will give you cover, but you would 
be wrong. A vote to repeal the 2002 AUMF without a replacement will 
embolden Iran and ISIS and sends an unmistakable message to every U.S. 
partner around the world that Congress has lost its resolve and that 
partisanship trumps America's national security and reason.
  For the record, attaching these two provisions to a Congressional 
Gold Medal vote for the purpose of avoiding a motion to recommit is 
beneath the dignity of this Chamber and shameful by the majority, and 
it is disrespectful to the World War II veterans it recognizes.
  Madam Speaker, I oppose this feckless amendment.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, let me say that no one on this side needs 
to be lectured to about preserving America's role in the world. I just 
think that we don't think there should be a blank check for war.
  I will mention a couple of things that are relevant here. The 2001 
AUMF passed after 9/11 authorizes counterterrorism operations. The 2002 
AUMF has nothing to do with counterterrorism operations, al-Qaida, or 
ISIS. It specifically says the threat posed by Iraq, not al-Qaida. The 
reference to al-Qaida is in the findings, not in the authorization.
  It does not need to be replaced because the 2001 AUMF is still in the 
books. The administration has been clear with Congress that 
counterterrorism operations would not stop if the 2002 AUMF is 
repealed.
  I would note that it is the President's recent actions in the Middle 
East that

[[Page H730]]

have posed challenges to our efforts to defeat ISIS. The United States 
has had to cease operations against ISIS because our military is needed 
for force protection after the Soleimani strike.
  So if there is anything that has posed an obstacle to our fight 
against terrorism, it is the recent actions of the administration. I 
think a little thing should be put into perspective here.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Espaillat), a valued member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. ESPAILLAT. Madam Speaker, for far too long, Congress has allowed 
the executive branch to usurp its constitutional responsibility of the 
power to go to war. Now, we have seen how a President can misuse one of 
his most solemn responsibilities as Commander in Chief.
  The 2002 AUMF, which was built on a lie, on a lie of weapons of mass 
destruction, is long irrelevant and must be repealed.
  The American people do not want war. The American people do not want 
war. Yet, the President has escalated the prospects of war in the 
Middle East in a way that has not only severely endangered U.S. 
interests and diplomacy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon 
but has also resulted in the injury of at least 50 American 
servicemembers.
  We must repeal the 2002 AUMF because the President has not been given 
the authority to go to war. And we must exercise the power of the purse 
and ensure that no funds are used for an unwanted, unauthorized war.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gohmert).
  Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, I thank my friend, also from Texas. He 
has made wonderful points.
  For those of us who have studied history--especially in my case, 
spending my life studying history--you know one thing if you really 
understand history: Weakness is provocative.
  There was no better display than in 1979, November 4, actually. I was 
at Fort Benning, in the Army there. We took notice when our Embassy was 
attacked, and we had a very weak President who went about begging Iran 
to let our people go without any threat. We just wanted diplomacy. Iran 
then and now does not understand the weakness they perceive from 
diplomacy unless there is a hammer behind it.
  We are here today to vote on two amendments. One, of course, has 
already been discussed, titled ``No War with Iran Act.'' The other is 
titled ``Repeal of Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq 
Resolution of 2002.''
  Some of us have been wanting a new AUMF since we got here. During the 
Obama administration, it was clear we weren't going to get that. I 
appreciated Chairman McKeon allowing me to come up with language to try 
to make it a little better, but he made me stay in a back room to write 
the language so the Democrats in the Senate didn't know it was me who 
was doing the language. That might have created a problem. We made some 
amendments, but we needed a new AUMF.
  Where were my friends across the aisle when, out of no vital 
interest, as our own Secretary of Defense said on television, our 
President decided to attack Libya, the President of Libya who had blood 
on his hands from the 1980s and 1990s, but he had opened his doors and 
let us tell him what weapons they could have and not have? He was not a 
threat.

  Look, we need a new AUMF, but the message that this will send to Iran 
is: Not only is this group trying to throw this President out and 
weaken him every which way they can, but now they are going to take 
away any power to kill somebody like Soleimani, which he just did.
  If he was still alive, it appears clear there would be Americans 
dying.
  Look, let's vote this down. Let's work together on a new AUMF that 
doesn't send word to our enemies that ``President Trump is too weak to 
do anything,'' because he is not. Quit sending that message.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Virginia (Ms. Spanberger), a valued member of the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs, one of our newer members.
  Ms. SPANBERGER. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of repealing 
the 2002 AUMF. The repeal of this authorization, which in 2002 
authorized our use of military force in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, would 
have no effect--none--on current U.S. military operations.
  To be clear, as a former CIA officer who worked counterterrorism 
issues, our own Nation's security is always my priority.
  Today's vote is about that, our national security and the 
responsibility of Congress to exercise its constitutional authority 
over decisions of war and peace. It is not about one particular 
President, party, or administration. It is about Congress' 
constitutional responsibility, our duty to debate and vote on sending 
our Nation's servicemembers off to war.
  But Congress has long evaded this duty, allowing President after 
President to use the 2001 AUMF--not this one, the one we are discussing 
today--to authorize varied military operations without Congress taking 
responsibility.
  And after nearly two decades, the American people have waited to see 
principled leadership on ending the cycle of endless war. We must 
update the 2001 AUMF. But today's vote is on the now-defunct 2002 AUMF. 
Repealing this AUMF is a good first step towards Congress taking 
responsibility on behalf of the servicemembers we represent.

                              {time}  1115

  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McCarthy), the Republican leader.
  Mr. McCARTHY. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise in opposition to the House amendments to H.R. 550.
  Before I explain why, I need to address what has become an all-too-
frequent occurrence in this esteemed body, the abuse of power by the 
Democrat majority. We saw it during impeachment, and we are seeing it 
again now.
  Today, Democrats are denying basic and essential floor rights to the 
Republicans as we consider these two flawed Iran measures. 
Specifically, by considering these measures as amendments to an 
unrelated, Gold Medal bill, the majority is intentionally using a 
partisan procedural gimmick to silence dissenting opinions. Even Ro 
Khanna recently admitted as much. He didn't want a vote on an amendment 
that could ``divide the caucus.''
  Leader Hoyer did not respond to my letter that I recently sent him; 
the idea of eliminating a motion to recommit. We appealed to address 
these concerns and were rejected on the floor over and over again; 25 
times, to be exact.
  And no Republican amendments were ruled in order, including my 
amendment with Ranking Member Cole that would have allowed the 
President to use force if there was an imminent threat against the 
United States or our ally, Israel. Democrats were too afraid to debate 
that.
  We can all agree that the decision to go to war is the most 
significant choice Congress can make, followed only by impeachment.
  And we could also agree, as Leader Hoyer recently said, that ``more 
Members from across the ideological spectrum need to have input into 
the work we do'' in the House.
  These measures should be withdrawn until the Republicans' rights are 
fully restored. This tactic purposely eliminates Republicans' last 
opportunity to amend legislation, the motion to recommit.
  Now, for 100 years, in this body, the motion to recommit has given 
the minority the right to--and let's quote--``have a vote upon its 
position upon great public questions.'' That is the definition of a 
motion to recommit. ``Have a vote upon its position upon great public 
questions.''
  In other words, MTRs allow constituents whose Members are in the 
minority to have their voices heard. Certainly, I would think this 
issue before us would meet the standard of a great public question.
  As referred to earlier, I sent that letter to Leader Hoyer earlier 
this week, the procedural gimmick is not only wrong, it is in bad 
faith. The House has never debated matters of war and peace in such an 
irregular and restrictive manner.
  What's more, Speaker Pelosi gave her word that her majority would not

[[Page H731]]

govern like this. Just last May, she claimed to be ``a big respecter'' 
of minority rights.
  You know what is so ironic about all of this? The use of this is very 
rare throughout the history of this entire body, a body we all respect.
  What is most depressing is people talk a bigger game than they show 
in their actions.
  Let me show you a little research on how often this tactic has ever 
been used. It wasn't used ever on war, probably the most significant 
thing we would debate on this floor. But we are using a Gold Medal bill 
we already voted for, just for a gimmick.
  In fact, in the 110th Congress, 16 times House bills with a Senate 
amendment were considered, and there was not one MTR given to the 
minority. If I have to refresh your memory, in the 110th Congress, 
Democrats were in the majority.
  Compare that to in the Republican-led 109th Congress, which only 
debated one message, one time, under a rule like this. You know what 
the majority Republican-led Congress did then? They provided the 
minority with an amendment to compensate for the loss of a motion to 
recommit; something this majority has failed to do, again.
  There is a difference between our two parties, and there is no bigger 
example than the tactic used today.
  If Democrats will not withdraw these amendments, the House should 
vote them down immediately. This is a terrible time to be considering a 
repeal of the 2002 AUMF, a key authority to protect ourselves from the 
Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.
  The Soleimani strike delivered a clear message to Iran: If you kill a 
U.S. citizen, you will suffer the consequences. For the first time in 
years, deterrence has been reestablished.
  Yet, the threat of Iran and Iraq still remains and cannot be ignored. 
For the last 6 months, Iran has moved more and more military assets 
into Iraq. That is a fact.
  And though deterrence has changed Iran's calculus, it has not 
eliminated the timeless goals: One, to kick the United States out of 
the region by fraud or force; two, turn Iraq into a puppet state; and, 
three, take away the freedom of the Iraqi people, just as they stole 
the freedom from their own people.
  Let's not forget that Iran will seize every opportunity to undermine 
our interests in the region.
  The Lee amendment would have us repeat the same strategic failures of 
the Obama administration, whose rush to withdraw from Iraq on a 
political timeline led to the direct rise of ISIS. If passed, it would 
send a message of weakness and division to the regime in Iran.
  The Ro Khanna amendment is even more foolish and poorly-timed. The 
claim that it just prohibits an unauthorized war against Iran is 
totally false.
  The Members on their phones should take a moment and actually realize 
what they are going to vote on because there are consequences to this 
judgment. They may make it easier, where they do not have to have an 
amendment where they actually have facts before their eyes and be 
judged upon a vote that is so serious as war.
  Plainly, it abuses the power of the purse by proactively banning the 
use of force far short of war and makes exemptions only for direct 
attacks on U.S. territory or troops. Its effects are more constraining 
than the War Powers Resolution, which forces cutoffs in just 60 days.

  Consider a few scenarios that would be illegal under Ro Khanna's 
proposal. This is what you are voting for.
  Think, for a moment, if Iran plans catastrophic attacks against New 
York and Jerusalem. The intelligence is clear and undeniable. Under 
Khanna's bill, we couldn't use the military to protect ourselves or our 
allies. That is what you will vote for and have to answer to.
  U.S. citizens are kidnapped, and our government knows the location 
and how to save them. Under Khanna's bill, we could not use our Navy 
SEALs or any other part of our military to rescue those Americans.
  A U.S. merchant ship is in international waters and is being hijacked 
by the IRGC. Under the Ro Khanna bill, we couldn't come to their 
rescue.
  Any way you look at it, these amendments do not make Americans or our 
allies safer. But this is becoming a recurring, bad pattern for House 
Democrats.
  It is interesting, the more I listen on the floor from the other 
side, Madam Speaker, I hear blame America first, instead of protect 
America first.
  First, they had to be shamed by the Republicans into passing a 
resolution this week in support of the Iranian protesters. They 
rejected a Republican-led resolution just 2 weeks ago that would have 
given our total support.
  Now, Democrats refuse to stand for our troops or our allies against 
our enemies.
  Madam Speaker, the future of our policy in the Middle East will play 
a crucial role in determining the security of our citizens and the 
character of our Nation.
  Iran is watching what we are doing today. Its regime is looking for 
signs of hesitation and disagreement, just like the denying of standing 
with those college students who would not walk on an American flag. But 
Congress would not say a word that week.
  Its citizens--who are protesting in the streets for a free and 
accountable government--are looking for signs of assurance, poise, and 
support. They did not find that a few weeks ago. And today, they are 
going to hear a whole different message, once again.
  But they aren't the only ones watching. China and Russia are also 
closely studying our actions for signs. Our long-term competition with 
China, in particular, directly involves Middle East energy resources 
which are still essential for our allies in the Pacific, even though, 
we, ourselves, are energy-independent.
  Everyone is looking for signs about the future. Will it be a future 
we can be proud of or a future that we are going to be ashamed of?
  Well, the future is never clear, but this much is: If we abandon our 
commitments now, we will be saying that we lack confidence in our 
values and resolve in our mission. The world will say, and history will 
record that we lost faith in the American cause in the moment that it 
was needed the most.
  This is not the America I know and love. This is not the America you 
know and love. America is better than this. Americans are stronger than 
this.
  I see an unbreakable spirit in my fellow Americans, and I know that, 
whatever the challenges ahead, together, we are up to the task; which 
is why I am ashamed of the actions of many of my colleagues today which 
divide us instead of uniting us.
  If you truly believe in your position, debate it. If you truly 
believe in your position, stick with the 100-year tradition of allowing 
constituents to have a voice. You denied any ability to offer one 
amendment--one amendment.
  You are so sure in your position that, yes, when the American is 
kidnapped, they won't need the Navy SEAL to rescue them. You are so 
sure in your position that when we know the facts of the attack coming, 
you are so much smarter that you will tell Americans who die that we 
should not have stopped it.
  You are so sure in your position that you would change a century of 
history just so you wouldn't have to debate.
  Madam Speaker, that is not what the Founders devised this floor to be 
about; that the sheer, raw power of a majority would be used in a 
manner to deny a voice because they could not win a vote; because they 
wanted to drive a policy that made us weaker.
  Madam Speaker, the idea that we would blame America first, instead of 
stand with it, is not one I could support.
  Madam Speaker, it has been very clear from the administration, from 
the intel community, from our men and women in service, this is not 
what they expect of us.
  If you are proud enough, and you believe your policy brings people 
more freedom, why would you change 100 years of precedent? Why would 
you change, just to be able to think you can win in a corrupt manner?
  Madam Speaker, I hope all those examples I showed never come to 
fruition, because we could not look at Americans in the eye and say we 
had an honest debate; it was played by the rules; and everybody had an 
opportunity to make sure it was the best resolution passed.
  No. History will say there was a Gold Medal bill that everybody voted 
for,

[[Page H732]]

then we gutted it and amended it, so we denied people a voice. Because 
of sheer, raw power of being in the majority, we were willing to break 
a 100-year tradition.
  It doesn't matter what the language said or how open it would be. It 
doesn't matter that we were afraid to be challenged that our bill is 
wrong. We think we are so right that we will do anything to make 
America weaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair reminds Members to address their 
remarks to the Chair.

                              {time}  1130

  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of both the repeal of 
the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq in 2002 and 
the No War Against Iran Act, and I thank Congressman Ro Khanna and 
Congresswoman Barbara Lee for their true leadership.
  Sending our servicemembers into war is one of Congress' most solemn 
constitutional responsibilities. History will show this 
administration's reckless go-it-alone strategy against Iran with no 
allied support has left America less safe.
  Indeed, having dodged the draft himself, the President does not 
appreciate the true costs of war. Just look at the President's initial 
report that no U.S. troops were harmed following Iran's retaliatory 
strike on U.S. bases in Iraq. It has since been reported that at least 
50 U.S. servicemembers were wounded and suffered traumatic brain 
injuries, a stark contrast from President Trump's tweet on January 8 
stating all is well.
  The cavalier approach this President has taken in escalatory action 
against Iran is haphazard. Our servicemembers' safety and America's 
security have been hard won.
  This Congress fully understands the cost of liberty. It is why, 
today, we reassert our Article I power and clearly demand a clear 
request if the administration wishes to engage in war with Iran.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield an additional 15 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, this Congress will ensure the wise, 
strategic, and prudent use of force to win the future by defending the 
American people and not carelessly tripping into war with Iran.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Mississippi (Mr. Palazzo), a Marine combat veteran of the Gulf war and 
a current member of the Mississippi National Guard.
  Mr. PALAZZO. Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend, Mr. McCaul, 
for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, the amendment before us today is another example of 
the Democrats' most recent campaign to undermine our military, our 
national security, and, as always, President Trump.
  Repealing the AUMF of 2002 without a replacement is dangerous, and 
the House majority must understand that. If the Democrats choose to 
adopt this amendment, it shows our military men and women stationed in 
the Middle East that the United States Congress does not have their 
backs.
  By adopting this amendment, it tells our enemies that they can 
continue attacking the United States completely unchecked. It projects 
uncertainty and weakness to those who are actively working against us.
  The United States must maintain the ability to counter terrorist 
attacks, and an active AUMF accomplishes that. This amendment, if 
adopted, will only weaken America's defense strategy in the Middle 
East.
  The AUMF is important and helped lead our military to the defeat of 
al-Qaida in Iraq. It continues helping us identify other international 
terrorist organizations that want to harm Americans and spread terror 
throughout the world.
  No one wants endless wars in the Middle East, but we must have the 
tools necessary to react in this highly volatile region. We should not 
prevent the President from defending Americans from imminent threats. 
To do this is reckless and dangerous. Not only will it put our military 
at risk, but it will also endanger American civilians.
  Keep in mind, we need to fight the global war on terrorism over 
there; otherwise, it will end up in our backyards. I urge my colleagues 
to vote ``no'' on this dangerous resolution.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, let me just say I would like to briefly 
respond to the Republican leader's remarks about the Iranian protest 
movement, because I feel very strongly about the Iranian protest 
movement and in supporting them.
  The leader accused the Democrats of being shamed into passing the 
resolution in support of the protestors in Iran. I want to correct the 
record because Mr. Deutch, who is a Democrat, introduced this 
resolution nearly a month before Mr. McCarthy; the House Foreign 
Affairs Committee marked the resolution a couple of weeks later.
  So there was no shame, except accusing Democrats of any nefarious 
motives. That is shameful.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Carolyn B. 
Maloney), the chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, I thank the 
gentleman for yielding.
  I rise in strong support of the Lee amendment to repeal the 
Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq.
  In 2002, this Chamber voted to invade Iraq on what would later prove 
to be false and misleading intelligence provided by the Bush 
administration. We removed Saddam Hussein, established a democratic 
government in Iraq, and declared a formal end to the mission in 2011.
  However, that 18-year-old authorization is now being used by the 
President to escalate a conflict with Iran, a conflict that the 
American people strongly oppose and one that Congress never authorized.
  The Constitution states plainly that Congress shall have the power to 
declare war and peace. This amendment exercises that constitutional 
authority, reflects the will of the American people, and is the first 
step to finally ending our endless wars and bringing them to an end.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support the Lee amendment.

  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Scalise), the Republican whip.
  Mr. SCALISE. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and 
for his leadership on our ability to make sure that any administration, 
Republican or Democrat, has the ability for the President to carry out 
their duties as Commander in Chief. And that is what is at stake here, 
this amendment that we are debating right now that would completely 
repeal the 2002 AUMF and not have an honest conversation, a sincere 
debate about if there should be any changes to it, modernize, work with 
the administration. Again, any Commander in Chief should have the 
ability to defend America, to respond to attacks on Americans both here 
in America or abroad.
  Madam Speaker, as you look at this debate as well as the vote we are 
going to be taking shortly on the Iranian language, which would limit 
the ability of the President to respond to attacks coming from Iran, it 
is another major concern about whether or not we are going to have a 
Commander in Chief who can actually defend America.
  There are things that are going on right now that we all know are an 
underlying part of this debate. Let's start with the taking out of one 
of the bloodiest terrorists in the history of this country, Soleimani, 
who was just taken out primarily using the authority of the 2002 AUMF, 
which would be gutted if this were to pass.
  So I don't think most people in this country think it is a debatable 
question of a bloody terrorist who killed hundreds of American troops. 
This guy had the blood of over 600 U.S. servicemen and -women on his 
hands. He was in Iraq plotting to take out more Americans, to kill more 
Americans, and he was taken out.
  Is it really a question of whether or not that was the right thing to 
do? I think most Americans would agree he was a brutal terrorist. And 
whether it was Osama bin Laden or al-Baghdadi or

[[Page H733]]

other terrorists who want to kill Americans, our Commander in Chief 
ought to have the ability to protect Americans and stop terrorists who 
want to kill more Americans. To take away that ability is reckless. It 
is destructive to the country.
  Again, if you wanted to have an honest debate, Madam Speaker, you 
would have seen the committees of jurisdiction have true hearings on 
this, bring in people in the administration, talk about what the right 
way to approach this is.
  That is not what happened. They literally took a coin bill--a coin 
bill--and brought it forward with these two amendments so that there 
can't be that honest debate on both sides, shutting out the minority's 
ability to bring amendments, to have an honest discussion about what 
the process should be.
  In terms of Iran, just think about what they are doing there. It is 
not only Iran. It is Iranian proxies that carry out attacks against 
servicemembers of the United States and our allies, and they take that 
away, too.
  Don't tie the hands of any President of the United States, Republican 
or Democrat, from being able to defend this country both here and 
abroad. I oppose both amendments and would hope we reject it.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, let me quickly say that I agree with Mr. 
Scalise that the Foreign Affairs Committee should be having hearings on 
this. We have tried to get the Secretary of State to come. I am still 
hopeful he is coming, but it is a little hard to hold hearings if you 
don't get the administration witness to come to the hearings. We are 
trying.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Neguse).
  Mr. NEGUSE. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise today in support of my good friend and colleague's commonsense 
measure, and I want to thank Representative Lee for her leadership and 
her moral courage.
  I also would just say we have heard a lot with respect to objections 
around the process. Long before I got here, Representative Lee, as I 
understand it, secured a similar amendment in an appropriations bill 
just a few years ago. In the dead of night, the prior Speaker of the 
House struck that amendment out of the bill, and I didn't hear many 
process objections at that time from so many of my colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle. If folks want to have an honest debate, let's 
have that honest debate.
  For my part, I support this measure and what it represents. I believe 
it is ultimately about the need to underscore to this administration 
the constitutional limitations placed on its authority, a reminder that 
is necessary because of this President's reckless foreign policy and 
his refusal to engage Congress in the authorities placed with us by the 
Founders.
  This Chamber is often referred to as the ``people's House,'' elected 
by the people, charged to represent the people and to govern for the 
people. The Founders, the Framers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to 
rest the solemn power to declare war with the Congress as the people's 
House, and yet, for the better part of the last 18 years, this Chamber 
has abdicated its traditional role.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield the gentleman from Colorado an 
additional 15 seconds.
  Mr. NEGUSE. Administration after administration has used this 
authority to engage our Armed Forces in various conflicts around the 
world.
  It is time for Congress to return to its traditional role under our 
constitutional structure. I support this measure. I encourage my 
colleagues to vote ``yes.''
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  My service in the House has been marked by a loss of Congress' power 
to deal with war and peace. I am proud to stand with my friend, 
Congresswoman Lee, as I did with her in her 2002 amendment. Republicans 
empowered President Bush for the worst foreign policy blunder in our 
history, and we are still paying the price for the war in Iraq.

  It is time to end this bipartisan failure, time to end it, stand up 
for Congress. This is especially critical today with the reckless 
current occupant who cozies up to dictators like Putin and some of the 
worst people on the planet, and who attacks our allies with trade wars. 
He committed colossal blunders like breaking the Iranian nuclear 
agreement, which the Iranians had abided by, and by killing the second 
most powerful person in Iran, which made us less safe.
  It is time to vote for the Lee amendment, repeal the AUMF, a key tool 
to rein in a reckless President and reclaim the rightful powers of 
Congress over war and peace.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Kildee).
  Mr. KILDEE. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I stand in strong support of Representative Lee's resolution to 
repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq.
  The Constitution is unambiguous; it is clear: Congress has the power 
to authorize war.
  In 2002, Congress passed an Authorization for Use of Military Force 
to address the ongoing threat from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq to 
this country.
  With the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S. military forces and the 
establishment of a new Iraqi Government, this AUMF became obsolete; but 
we continued, Democratic Presidents and Republican Presidents, to use 
the Authorization for Use of Military Force ongoing, as if the same 
conditions existed then.
  If there is a need for the authorization for the use of military 
force against any threat, we should bring it up and have a full and 
fair and open debate on what that threat is constituted of and, as a 
Congress, exercise that constitutional authority to declare war.
  This language does not prevent a President from defending America. 
Don't let anyone tell you that.
  It is important that we exercise our constitutional role.

                              {time}  1145

  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, may I inquire how much time remains on each 
side.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York has 8\1/2\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Texas has 8\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Washington (Ms. Jayapal).
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Madam Speaker, I rise to support Representative Lee's 
amendment to say no to unauthorized wars.
  The Trump administration claims that this outdated authorization 
justifies future strikes against Iran. That is outrageous. And as a 
result of the assassination of General Soleimani and Iran's 
retaliation, we now have 50 American soldiers tragically injured.
  Representative Lee, during debate in 2002 on this very authorization, 
said: ``It does not take leadership to go drop bombs and go to war. It 
takes real leadership to negotiate and to develop peaceful resolutions 
to our security needs.''
  Seventeen years ago, Madam Speaker, I spoke at a rally of 50,000 
people in Seattle who believed the evidence was not there to go to war 
in Iraq. Today, we know we were right. We must learn from that.
  Let's repeal this outdated authorization and ensure that Congress has 
real oversight and debate before we go into any war. Let's show 
leadership and stop these endless, unauthorized wars.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Pocan).
  Mr. POCAN. Madam Speaker, today, I rise in strong support of 
Representative Barbara Lee's amendment to repeal the 2002 Authorization 
for Use of Military Force in Iraq.
  We cannot allow this President or any President to use an outdated 
AUMF intended to address Saddam Hussein to wage unauthorized wars 
against whatever leader they are upset with on any given day.
  Because of congressional inaction, the U.S. military is operating in 
at

[[Page H734]]

least 76 countries across the world, and we have spent trillions of 
dollars on military activities since 9/11, largely on unauthorized wars 
abroad, when we could be helping people at home, expanding Social 
Security, ensuring healthcare is a human right, and investing in green 
jobs and renewable energy.
  Recently, the President threatened this bill with a veto. It only 
made the case more clear: Congress must reassert its constitutional 
authority per Article I, Section 8, to declare war.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support both Representative Ro 
Khanna's bill to prohibit funding for war with Iran and Representative 
Lee's efforts to repeal the 2002 AUMF.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Brown).
  Mr. BROWN of Maryland. Madam Speaker, I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 
and served with the most patriotic Americans and committed Iraqi 
partners in Baghdad, Fallujah, Kirkuk, and Mosul.
  While the justification for that war was fundamentally flawed, our 
authorized mission was to defend the national security of the United 
States from the continuing threat posed by the Government of Iraq.
  Yes, we continue to counter ISIS in Iraq, but the Government of Iraq 
no longer poses a threat to our national security, and that is why I 
advocate for the repeal of the 2002 AUMF.
  We have a responsibility to the men and women who wear the uniform to 
ensure that the authorized missions they execute are targeted, defined, 
and achievable. We cannot accomplish that goal with a nearly two-
decade-old authorization that doesn't recognize the current landscape.
  With this amendment, we officially end America's 2002 mission in 
Iraq.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Ms. Tlaib).
  Ms. TLAIB. Madam Speaker, this administration's rogue attempt to 
start a war with Iran endangers countless lives around the world and 
was a wake-up call for Congress that we must reclaim our constitutional 
role as a check on executive power to wage endless wars.
  Repealing the AUMF of 2002 is an important step toward reasserting 
that Congress alone has the authority to declare war. The 2002 AUMF was 
passed to wage a war ultimately deemed to be based on lies, and the 
United States military operations pursuant to the 2002 AUMF ended in 
2011.
  Iraq is a sovereign nation, and passing today's amendment is an 
important measure of respect for our key ally.
  The 2002 AUMF is an outdated relic whose only function is to provide 
this administration with cover to claim that Congress has authorized 
attacks on Iran or whichever country draws its attention. Leaving it in 
place makes us less safe in our country.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Lee, my mentor, for her 
leadership on repealing the 2002 AUMF and ending our forever wars so 
that we can better serve our constituents at home.
  Madam Speaker, I know Ms. Lee was alone at one point. She is not 
alone anymore. We stand with her in pushing back against this very much 
unconstitutional measure by the President of the United States.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Gaetz), our Republican colleague.
  Mr. GAETZ. Madam Speaker, I come to vote my heart.
  Saddam died more than a decade ago, and even the faintest echoes of 
his regime have long dissolved.

  So if we are unable to declare victory and bring our troops home at 
this time after Saddam is dead, after his regime has evaporated, after 
ISIS has collapsed, then no war is ever truly winnable and every 
authorization is an authorization for a forever war.
  Let's not hand the 21st century off to China as we toil in the Middle 
East. Instead of sending America's bravest patriots to the bloodstained 
sands of the Middle East, let's care for our veterans here at home.
  Instead of wasting American treasure bombing and rebuilding Iraq, 
let's rebuild our own great Nation. Let's secure the U.S. border with 
Mexico before we send the next soldier, sailor, dollar, or marine to 
secure Iraq's border with Iran.
  Instead of ill-fated adventurism, let's put America first.
  Keeping U.S. Forces in Iraq is not what President Trump wants. It is 
not what the American people want. It is not what the Iraq parliament 
wants.
  The best time to vote against the Iraq war would have been in 2002. 
The second best time is today.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, my first opportunity in speaking 
today is to make sure that we honor all the men and women who are 
wearing uniforms in the United States military, as Congresswoman Lee 
has said, her family members and many family members who served.
  What we do know is we found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  We supported Congresswoman Lee in the rational position to have the 
inspection go forth, to know what was going on. The only thing we 
secured was an endless war.
  In the question of Iran, Mr. Ro Khanna's position is right. If there 
is any need to defend us in Iran, the War Powers Resolution allows a 
President to do that if we are defending ourselves against attacks or 
if there are hostilities.
  We need to address this in a constitutional way. Article I says that 
Congress declares war.
  The endless war that has carried on, for those of us who have been to 
Iraq and then Afghanistan realize that our soldiers deserve the dignity 
of a debate when they should go to war.
  Let me say to those who were injured by Iran: It is not just a side 
hit, if you will. These soldiers have been hit. We honor them.
  We should have a Congress to stand up if we go to war, not use this 
resolution. It should be repealed.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the majority leader.
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  This is not a resolution to go to war. My friend, the minority 
leader, wrote me a letter and implied that it was.
  These two bills are about the Constitution and about the awesome 
responsibility placed upon the Congress of the United States to 
determine whether or not we do go to war. It is not in Article II. It 
is in Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution of the United States.
  With Democrats as President of the United States and Republicans as 
President of the United States, this Congress has too often ceded its 
constitutional responsibility to the President of the United States.
  The Founders would find that very dangerous. They wanted a cumulative 
voice of the American people to make this extraordinary decision to go 
to war.
  It has been said that the Congresswoman from California, Barbara Lee, 
stood as a lone and courageous voice in voting ``no'' when America was 
attacked, not because she did not want to defend America, but because 
she wanted to ensure that we did so in a thoughtful way and in a 
correct way.
  It has been said before that nothing in this resolution prevents 
America or members of our Armed Forces from defending themselves.
  This vote is about the Constitution of the United States. Both votes 
are about the Constitution of the United States.
  Americans have experienced a generation of war abroad to prevent 
terror at home.
  Madam Speaker, I was preceded by just a little bit by Mr. Gaetz from 
Florida. He and I don't agree on much. We have different perspectives 
on policy. But he and I agree on these two bills.
  In Afghanistan and Iraq, our troops have fought courageously. Their 
families have sacrificed. Their friends and neighbors have waited 
anxiously for news of their safe return home. Many, tragically, did not 
return. We hold

[[Page H735]]

them in our hearts today as we engage in this critical debate about the 
nature of Congress' role in making consequential decisions of war and 
peace.
  The Founders wanted those of us, particularly in this House, to every 
2 years have to go back to our constituents to renew our contract to 
represent them. The Founders did that because they wanted us to be in 
close touch with the American people, and they wanted the people's 
views reflected before any one person took us to war.
  Now, the House has already voted on both of these propositions, on 
Ms. Lee's bill and on Mr. Khanna's bill. Now, they have presented us 
with two amendments.
  Last year, during the debate on the National Defense Authorization 
Act, they were included and passed by this House.

                              {time}  1200

  These are not new propositions. They were approved with bipartisan 
support. I don't mean one Republican or two Republicans, or three 
Republicans--as my Republican colleagues talk about, well, the 
impeachment opposition was bipartisan with one or two; one of whom, of 
course, is now a Republican.
  But the vote was 27 in one vote and 14 in the other. Fourteen 
Republicans voted for Congresswoman Lee's proposition, and they did so 
largely on the basis of what Mr. Gaetz from Florida had to say.
  In Representative Khanna's amendment, the tally was 251-170. Fourteen 
Republicans voted for Ms. Lee's amendment and 27 for Mr. Khanna's 
amendment.
  Now, Mr. Khanna's resolution is directly related to the Constitution 
and Ms. Lee's is directly related to what Mr. Gaetz said. Whether you 
agreed or not with what is happening in Iraq, it is over. The 
bipartisan votes are a testament to the very strong public sentiment 
that sending America's young men and women to war must not be the 
decision of the Commander in Chief. And from my perspective, frankly, 
certainly not this Commander in Chief who is so impulsive and so 
inclined to avoid and deny the advice of his Secretary of Defense and 
other intelligence-related personnel.
  That is why, as I said earlier, our Founders enshrined in the 
Constitution that only Congress can declare war. That is why we have 
the War Powers Act that we adopted in 1973. That is why we are having 
this debate on the floor today.
  I strongly support both the Lee amendment and the Khanna amendment. 
The former would repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military 
Force in Iraq which was meant to enable, as Mr. Gaetz so powerfully 
said, the removal of Saddam Hussein. He is gone. We are not at war with 
Iraq.
  Sadly, that resolution is being used some 18 years later as rationale 
for doing something not against Iraq, not against Saddam Hussein--who 
we all know is dead--but for something else. The something else needs 
to be approved by this Congress unless it is a defensive action, again, 
which is provided for.
  The latter would prohibit the Trump administration from using Federal 
funds without congressional authorization to strike Iran in the absence 
of an imminent threat. ``In the absence of an imminent threat'' is the 
key language.
  This is not about retreat. This is not about exposing us to danger. 
It is carrying out the strictures of the Constitution of the United 
States. Let me make this point clear: Nowhere in this bill do we take 
funding away from the military or say that our forces cannot defend 
themselves. We include clear language to ensure that if an imminent 
threat presents itself, our forces can strike and respond to that 
threat.
  I am proud that so many Democratic Members of the House are veterans 
who know what it means to serve at the point of the spear. Mr. Brown, 
my colleague from Maryland, just spoke. He was one of those. Many of 
our freshmen served in the military during the Iraq and Afghanistan 
conflicts and are working hard to make sure that our Democratic House 
majority always keeps faith with those in uniform and our veterans.
  They have been instrumental in helping to shape our policies in a way 
that is smart, strategic and strengthens our national security.
  Let me also say that Iran remains a dangerous enemy. I doubt that 
there is a person on this floor who disagrees with that. No one is 
suggesting taking our eye off Iran and its malevolent behavior, and no 
one is mourning the loss of Soleimani. That is not the issue.
  The issue is, as I said at the beginning, the Constitution. That is 
why Congress needs to take action now to make it clear that the 
President does not have the unilateral authority to take America into 
another costly war in the Middle East or anywhere else.
  We passed the War Powers Resolution on a bipartisan basis earlier 
this month. This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of standing 
up for the Article I branch of government, the Congress of the United 
States, who represent the people. We call this the people's House, and 
the Founders wanted the people to make this decision.
  Madam Speaker, I want to thank Representative Lee and Representative 
Khanna, as well as all of those who have been involved in this effort, 
for bringing these two propositions to the floor of the House.
  I urge each and every one of my colleagues to vote for these bills. I 
also hope that those who voted with the Khanna amendment, 27 
Republicans, stick with their principles; stick with their commitment 
to the Constitution; stick with the separation of powers; stick with 
the awesome responsibility of this House, representing the people, to 
be the ones that make that terribly hard decision to send our people to 
war.
  I hope that the 14 who voted for the Lee amendment stick with their 
principles to rationally say: Iraq is over. It is gone. The resolution 
of authorization is 18 years old. It is time for us to look anew, think 
anew, and act anew as the circumstances require.
  I thank Ms. Lee and Mr. Khanna. Let us pass these two amendments. 
That is what our Founders would want us to do.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Reed).
  Mr. REED. Madam Speaker, I rise today in response to my good friend 
from Maryland who just spoke. As one of those 27 who voted with the 
Democrats on that previous resolution, I stand in opposition today 
because this is a sham.
  You are using a commemorative coin bill on the floor of the House so 
we cannot debate the merits of this constitutional question. That is a 
shame. And just on that basis alone, I vote ``no.''
  You are damn right we should, as Members of Congress, exercise our 
constitutional authority, and we need to come back to this question and 
debate honestly and openly. When we put our men and women in harm's 
way, we should set aside our Democrat and Republican colors and say: 
Let's stand as Americans.
  So if you want to use this sham process to shame me, I will accept 
that because I will do the right thing each and every day.

  Vote ``no'' on these amendments. Vote ``no'' on this sham, and let's 
have a real debate as Members of Congress do in our constitutional 
responsibility.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Jackson Lee). The Chair reminds Members 
to address their remarks to the Chair and to maintain the appropriate 
decorum on the floor.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the majority leader.
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Speaker, there is no sham here. We have debated this 
proposition. This is the second time we have debated it, and it has 
passed twice. There is no sham here.
  I will talk about the MTR sham that you are arguing about at a later 
time. But this is on the merits of whether or not you believe the 
Congress of the United States ought to be making these decisions. Don't 
hide behind some sham argument about MTRs. We will get to that.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair reminds all Members to address 
their remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. McCAUL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Madam Speaker, I think back to my dad's war. Churchill warned Neville 
Chamberlain about the dark clouds of the Nazi regime on the horizon. He 
talked about how weakness invites aggression, and then we saw Hitler 
take the world stage.
  Reagan talked about peace through strength. These are the ideals I 
believe

[[Page H736]]

in, and these bills do not project that. They project weakness; 
weakness with ISIS; weakness with Iran; and weakness with our enemies.
  I would like to close by stating the obvious, and I think we all can 
agree here to some extent, that the 2002 AUMF is outdated. It is almost 
20 years old. I believe it is time to replace it with a new authority 
that is tailored to the specific threats that we face today.
  But one thing that has been mischaracterized is that this only 
applied to Saddam Hussein, when, in fact, the AUMF says: ``Iraq poses a 
continuing threat to the national security of the United States.'' And 
Iraq does, among other things, ``harbor other international terrorist 
organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and 
safety of American citizens.''
  That, my friend, is ISIS. It is not just Saddam Hussein. It is ISIS. 
And we have seen ISIS too much. We owe an updated AUMF to our soldiers, 
I think, who are in Iraq risking their lives for our security. We owe a 
debt to our partners and to the American people. But the problem, Madam 
Speaker, and the reason I oppose this amendment, is because passing it, 
does not make any progress toward that goal.
  A standalone repeal does not recognize the reality on the ground that 
our counterterrorism mission in Iraq is ongoing as we debate here on 
the floor right now, today.
  The inspector general for the counter-ISIS mission just reported last 
quarter that: ``In Iraq . . . ISIS continued this quarter to solidify 
and expand its command and control structures.'' On the other hand, 
they said: ``. . . it had not increased its capabilities in areas where 
the coalition was actively conducting operations against ISIS.''
  Madam Speaker, repealing the AUMF without a replacement shows our 
soldiers, our partners, our adversaries, that we are undermining our 
important mission there to protect the homeland; that we are not 
committed to completing the mission; and that we are not committed to a 
free and democratic Iraq.
  The last time the United States abandoned Iraq under President Obama, 
ISIS reared its ugly head and formed the caliphate.
  Just a few short years later, they declared it a caliphate and killed 
and savaged thousands of people. We all saw the videos. It surged all 
across the world. At that time, I was chairman of the Homeland Security 
Committee, and in 2016, the threat briefings were absolutely 
terrifying; one external operation after another to kill Americans in 
the United States out of Iraq and Syria.
  None of us want to see the next ISIS rise. None of us in this Chamber 
should allow that to ever happen again. So let's have a serious 
conversation about what an Authorization for Use of Military Force to 
defeat today's threats would look like instead of playing partisan 
politics.

                              {time}  1215

  What else are the Democrats' partisan maneuvers costing us today? 
They are exploiting the Greatest Generation, our World War II merchant 
mariners whose brothers died at the hands of the Nazis on the high 
seas.
  World War II veterans are dying every day, yet this majority is 
hijacking a bipartisan bill to honor their bravery in World War II as 
the vehicle for these two political measures.
  Rather than sending the President a Senate-passed version of this 
bill to grant this long-overdue recognition, they are setting that 
effort back to square one where it will require passage again by the 
Senate that is tied up with impeachment.
  Let me just say this: As the son of a World War II veteran, I am 
saddened and ashamed that the majority would allow playing procedural 
games that set back this bipartisan bill that was on its way to the 
President's desk. They are forcing these elderly merchant mariners, 
World War II veterans, to wait even longer for the thanks of a grateful 
nation.
  In closing, we owe it to our constituents to take action to replace 
this 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, but this, Madam 
Speaker, does nothing to meet that goal.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this empty and reckless 
gesture and vote ``no'' on the amendment, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
for the purpose of closing.
  Madam Speaker, in 2002, the House authorized the Bush administration 
to go to war the Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. It makes no sense 
that this authorization is still on the books when the original purpose 
of it has long passed.
  It is dangerous when we see an administration trying to claim that 
this decades-old vote gives them a green light to conduct military 
actions against Iran.
  With this measure today, there is no blank check for war. The 
President must come to the Congress.
  We want to fill our constitutional role. Only Congress can declare 
war, not the President. With this measure today, we can finally reclaim 
Congress' constitutional role in war powers and repeal this outdated 
authorization that has been misused time and time and time again.
  As my friend from Texas knows, the 2001 9/11 AUMF is cited as the 
authority for every operation against terrorists in Iraq. This AUMF 
needs to be updated and limited. The 2002 Iraq war AUMF does not need 
to be updated; it just needs to be repealed.
  What we are saying here is that there should be no automatic blank 
check for war. If this President or future Presidents want to go to 
war, they must come to Congress. Only Congress can declare war.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
support this, no blank check for war. If war is necessary, it will 
happen, but it shouldn't be a blank check for Presidents to go to war. 
We want peace; we don't want war; and now is the time to show it.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCHIFF. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of House Amendments to 
the Senate Amendment to H.R. 550, to repeal the 2002 Authorization for 
Use of Military Force Against Iraq, and to prohibit the use of force in 
or against Iran without Congressional authorization. I urge my 
colleagues to join me in supporting these two bills which would begin 
to reclaim Congress's Constitutional authority over the use of force.
  First, the repeal of the 2002 AUMF is long overdue. Passed in the 
lead up to the Iraq War, the objectives embodied in the authorization 
are obsolete. Leaving it in effect only invites abuse by this or any 
other administration, undermining Congress's Article I authority. This 
18-year-old authorization should not remain as a blank check for the 
United States to engage in military action in Iraq in perpetuity. By 
passing this repeal, Congress will reclaim the important decision-
making authority the Founders specifically afforded to the legislature, 
and not the executive branch.
  I also strongly support the No War Against Iran Act. The 
Administration's reckless policies towards Iran have repeatedly brought 
us near the brink of a war with Iran, one which would be contrary to 
our interests, which the American people do not want, and which the 
Congress has never authorized. This bill would make clear that the 
President does not have the unilateral authority to drag us into war, 
while leaving in place authorities needed to counter Iran's malicious 
influence in the region.
  Finally, while not the subject of the vote today, I hope that the 
renewed Congressional interest in reclaiming our war powers authorities 
will be followed by an effort to sunset the 2001 Authorization for Use 
of Military Force against those who planned and conducted the 9/11 
attacks. This authorization has been stretched beyond recognition to 
authorize force against terrorist groups around the world, many of 
which didn't exist in 2001. Should the Executive Branch need additional 
authorities beyond those granted in Article II, they should come to 
Congress and make the case for what those authorities should be so that 
we can determine if a replacement authorization is needed. But the 
Congressional inertia that has kept the 2001 AUMF in place has gone on 
too long, and I hope that we will see renewed bipartisan energy to 
replace it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, as a senior member of the Homeland 
Security Committee and a cosponsor, I rise in strong support of RCP 
116-49, the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 550, the No 
War With Iran Act, introduced by the gentlewoman from California, 
Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
  I thank my Out of Iraq colleague, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for 
sponsoring this legislation which repeals P.L. 107-43, the broad,

[[Page H737]]

unrestrained, and outdated 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military 
Force (AUMF) against Iraq, which was passed and signed into law on 
October 16, 2002, nearly twenty years ago.
  Congress never intended for the 2002 AUMF to have such broad and 
extended reach.
  Over the last 18 years, we have seen 3 Presidents use this 
legislation as a blank check to engage in serious military action.
  The 2002 AUMF is an outdated piece of legislation and repealing it 
will not affect any current military operations.
  The 2002 AUMF's only function is to provide the President with cover 
to claim Congress has already authorized him to attack Iranian 
officials, which is false.
  Moreover, the 2002 AUMF is unnecessary because in the 
administration's own view, everything the 2002 AUMF covers is already 
fully covered under the 2001 9/11 AUMF, except for attacks against 
Iran.
  Congress passed the 2002 AUMF to address the perceived threat posed 
by the regime of Saddam Hussein and the AUMF permitted the President to 
use the Armed Forces as ``necessary and appropriate'' to ``defend U.S. 
national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq'' and to 
``enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.''
  U.S. military deployments and operations carried out pursuant to the 
2002 AUMF--dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom--officially concluded in 
2011.
  Almost 18 years after the resolution's passage, the United States 
recognizes the sovereignty of Iraq and considers Iraq a key ally.
  Under the Constitution, Congress has the sole duty to declare war. 
Repealing obsolete Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) is 
essential to Congress living up to its constitutional responsibilities.
  Leaving the 2002 AUMF in place increases the likelihood that future 
Presidents will use it as a basis to start a new war, or expand a 
current one, without Congress's explicit authorization.
  In July 2019, the House adopted a Lee amendment to NDAA virtually 
identical to H.R. 2456, To Repeal the AUMF Against Iraq Resolution of 
2002, by a bipartisan vote of 242 to 180. Unfortunately, the Republican 
leadership stripped it out.
  The overly broad 2002 AUMF represents a critical deterioration of 
congressional oversight.
  As our brave servicemembers are deployed around the world in combat 
zones, Congress is missing in action.
  Congress must repeal the 2002 AUMF immediately to fulfill its 
constitutional obligation to provide oversight and consent on matters 
of war and peace.
  As provided under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, absent a 
congressional declaration of war or authorization for the use of 
military force, the President as Commander-in-Chief has constitutional 
power to engage the U.S. Armed Forces in hostilities only in the case 
of a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States, 
its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces.
  Madam Speaker, since the objectives which led Congress to pass the 
2002 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) have been achieved, I 
believe the authorization to use that military force expired 
automatically.
  Madam Speaker, where a congressional authorization to use military 
force has expired, the President must obtain a new authorization to 
continue the use of force.
  Given the material changes in circumstances, introducing additional 
U.S. combat troops into the region would be both unwise and beyond the 
scope of authority conferred by the 2002 AUMF.
  As a co-equal branch of government, it is Congress's right and 
responsibility to be fully consulted regarding any potential plans to 
expand military operations in the region, to assess whether such action 
is in the national security interest of the United States and our 
allies, and to withhold or grant authorization for the use of military 
force based on this assessment.
  As we have learned from the painful and bitter experience of the past 
18 years, at the initiation of hostilities, the costs in terms of blood 
and treasure of U.S. military interventions abroad are often 
underestimated and the benefits overstated.
  More than 6,800 American servicemembers gave the last full measure of 
devotion to their country on battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq, with 
hundreds of thousands more returning with physical, emotional, or 
psychological wounds that may never heal.
  The direct economic cost of the war in the Persian Gulf exceeds $1.07 
trillion, including $773 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations 
funds, an increase of $243 billion to the Department of Defense base 
budget, and an increase of $54.2 billion to the Veterans Administration 
budget to address the human costs of the military involvement in Iraq.
  We should not repeat the mistakes of the past and my position on this 
issue is directly aligned with the will of the American people.
  I commend my colleague, Representative Barbara Lee, for her 
introduction and advocacy of this legislation that will repeal the 
outdated 2002 AUMF.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, I am a proud 
cosponsor of both of these bills on the floor today--H.R. 2456 to 
repeal the 2002 AUMF and H.R. 5543, No War Against Iran to prevent any 
funds from being used for military force against Iran. Having 
previously voted in support of these bills as amendments to the Fiscal 
Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, I believe bringing these 
bills to the floor today is important in order to reassert Congress' 
constitutional authority. The 2002 AUMF is an outdated piece of 
legislation. U.S. military deployments and operations carried out 
pursuant to the 2002 AUMF--dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom--officially 
concluded in 2011. Almost 18 years after the resolution's passage, the 
United States recognizes the sovereignty of Iraq and considers Iraq a 
key ally. Under the constitution, Congress has the sole authority to 
declare war. Repealing obsolete AUMFs is essential to Congress living 
up to its constitutional responsibilities. Leaving the 2002 AUMF in 
place increases the likelihood that future Presidents will use it as a 
basis to start a new war, or expand a current one, without Congress's 
explicit authorization. Following our January 9 vote on, H. Con. Res. 
83, a War Powers Resolution to make clear the President could not 
constitutionally escalate the conflict with Iran without congressional 
approval, the Trump Administration has only continued to thumb its nose 
at the Constitution and has ignored Congress' authority as a coequal 
branch of government. I, again, urge the Trump Administration to 
refocus its efforts on creating a coherent and constructive strategy 
towards the Middle East.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 811, the previous question is ordered on 
this portion of the divided question.
  The question is: Will the House concur in the Senate amendment with 
the House amendment specified in section 4(b) of House Resolution 811?
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam 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, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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