The House’s New Proposal for an AUMF Against ISIL

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) proposed today an authorization for military force against ISIL, detailed in a statement on his website, complete with draft text.

Schiff’s proposal has three major components:

  1. Authorizing “all necessary and appropriate force against ISIL,” geographically constrained to Iraq and Syria, with limitations on ground troops, for a period of eighteen months;
  2. Immediately repealing the 2002 AUMF;
  3. Repealing, in eighteen months, the 2001 AUMF.

Schiff’s proposal would, in its current form, address three critical issues of force-authorization in one fell swoop. (See recent Just Security coverage of these three issues here: the AUMF for ISILthe 2002 AUMF, and the 2001 AUMF). It is worth nothing that the California Democrat’s proposed AUMF would not limit the purpose for the use of force, such as whether to destroy or merely contain the group.

The eighteen-month timeline would also mean that, if passed in the current Congress, reconsideration of the 2001 AUMF and Schiff’s ISIL-specific AUMF would take place during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The full draft text of the joint resolution, “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIL,” is available below.

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against the terrorist organization, “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” (ISIL) .

Whereas for months ISIL has been engaged in an almost unchecked campaign of murder and mayhem across a broad swath of Iraq and Syria that has killed thousands of innocent people and terrorized millions;

Whereas ISIL has brought under its control large areas of Iraq and Syria and announced on June 29, 2014 the establishment of a new caliphate;

Whereas in its conduct of military operations, its treatment of personnel captured on the battlefield, and its behavior towards civilians in areas under its control, ISIL has shown a level of brutality and depravity that shocks the conscience;

Whereas the threat posed by the recruitment of ISIL fighters in the United States and Europe and the prospect of these fighters returning to the United States or allied countries threatens the security of the United States and its allies;

Whereas ISIL poses an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and if left unchecked will be the locus of plots to attack our homeland;

Whereas the rise of ISIL, the continuing threat posed by al Qaeda and the pending redeployment of American combat troops from Afghanistan highlight the need to re-examine and harmonize the legal authorities under which the President is authorized to take offensive military action;

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to protect the United States from and its citizens from imminent threat or attack:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1 – Short Title

This joint resolution may be cited as the ‘Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIL’.

Section 2 – Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces

(a)    IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against ISIL.

a)    GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITATION – The authorization in this section shall be confined to the territory of the Republic of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.

b)    NO AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF ROTATIONAL GROUND FORCES.-Except for special operations forces and other forces that may be deployed in atraining and advisory role, the authorization in this section does not include authorization for the use of rotational ground forces.

(b)    TERMINATION: – The authority of subsection (a) shall terminate eighteen months from the enactment of this joint resolution.

Section 3 – Repeal of Prior Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces

(a)                The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against  Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 26 1541 note) is hereby repealed.

(b)    Effective eighteen months from the date of enactment of this joint resolution, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed.

Section 4 – War Powers Resolution Requirements

(a)    SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(b)    APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

Section 5 – Reports to Congress

a)               IN GENERAL.- The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required over the next 60 days.

i.                    Such reports are to be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

b)               CONSOLIDATION.-To the extent that the submission of any report described in this subsection coincides with the submissions of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of the War Powers Resolution, all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

  

About the Author(s)

Eric Messinger

Former Assistant Managing Editor of Just Security Follow him on Twitter (@egmessinger).