According to Politico, “Congress may finally be getting fed up with war on autopilot.”
While that opener may be wildly optimistic at this point, writers Bryan Bender and Jennifer Scholtes continued:
A powerful House committee voted unexpectedly Thursday to require Congress to debate and approve U.S. military action in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other far-flung countries — in a surprise victory for a longtime Democratic critic of the nearly two-decade-old war on terrorism.
The amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee of California — one of countless she has offered in recent years — is only a modest first step in getting Congress to update the authorization of military force that lawmakers adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But Thursday’s voice vote in the GOP-controlled Appropriations Committee is a symbolic move forward.
Even Republicans with military experience embraced Lee’s defense spending bill amendment, which would repeal the 2001 authorization. They noted that the anti-terror struggle has evolved markedly since the days when U.S. troops hunted Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan, yet Congress has never debated and authorized the fight against newer extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Members of the military “notice that we don’t have the courage to debate this and to give them the authority to go do this,” said Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who served in the Air Force and comes from a family of soldiers. “And I know that from my friends who are in the military right now.”