The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) is expected to vote soon on an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It is virtually certain that some authorization of force will pass. But the committee will consider limits on the authorization of force, and meaningful limitations could pass.
If you have a Senator on the committee, you are in a unique position to influence the vote.
Sen. Tim Kaine has a proposal that would prohibit the use of ground troops except for rescue missions and "limited operations against high-value targets" – that is, against terrorist leaders who directly threaten the United States. It would expire in one year unless renewed by Congress. It would also require the White House to give legislators a list of groups that might be covered by the authorization because they are associated with the Islamic State.
Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121. You can say something like,
I urge Senator X to support Sen. Kaine’s proposals to limit the authorization of the use of force against ISIS, including by prohibiting the use of U.S. ground forces in combat in Iraq and Syria except for rescue missions and against groups that directly threaten the U.S.
When you’ve made your call, please report it below.
If Chris Murphy, Tim Kaine, or Rand Paul is one of your Senators, you have a great opportunity to help block funding for US military action in Iraq and Syria until Congress has considered an AUMF.
Your Senator is one of a handful of Senators who have been protesting the fact that Congress has not yet debated and voted on an authorization of force for the new war in Iraq and Syria.
But your Senator hasn’t yet spoken out about the Pentagon’s request for $5 billion more in new money for the war. If Congress approves the money without debating and voting on an AUMF, it would be endorsing the claim that a debate and vote is not necessary.
Since your Senator has already gone public with his support for a debate and vote on an AUMF, we think it’s likely that he would also speak out against the funding request if given a little push.
Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. Say:
I’m calling to thank Senator X for speaking out about the fact that Congress has not yet voted on an AUMF, and to urge Senator X to publicly oppose any new funding for the war until Congress has debated and voted on an AUMF.
When you’ve made your call, please report it using our easy response form below.
The US military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is entering its fourth month. Congress has been reluctant to act on their obligation to debate and vote on the new war—but that’s about to change.
Last week, President Obama announced that he would seek a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Iraq and Syria. But the AUMF the Administration is proposing may go even further than targeting ISIS to embroil us in another endless and borderless war.
Congress will begin considering a new AUMF very soon, with hearings in the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected this week. That means we need to speak up NOW in order to influence the debate.
Call your reps in Congress NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say:
I urge you to support the principles of H. Con. Res 114 which calls for Congress to oppose the use of ground troops and says any AUMF on Iraq and Syria should be narrow and limited. 
In particular, any AUMF should:
- prohibit ground troops, as the President has said;
- be narrowly focused on ISIS and Al Qaeda, as the President has said.
- have a time limit or sunset provision so that it has to be renewed in the future for war to continue rather than lasting indefinitely by default; and
- include a provision for regular public reporting on civilian deaths and injuries from U.S. airstrikes, so that the public, Members of Congress, and journalists can better understand reports in the media about civilian casualties.
When you're done, please report your call below.
In response to the U.S. bombing of Islamic State ["ISIS"] fighters in Iraq and Syria, which Congress has never explicitly approved, Members of Congress long concerned about presidents and Congresses skirting the Constitutional role of Congress in deciding when the U.S. will use military force have introduced H. Con. Res. 114, "Urging Congress to debate and vote on a statutory authorization for any sustained United States combat role in Iraq or Syria."
Just Foreign Policy Calls for Robust Public Debate on Provisions of Any Iraq, Syria AUMF
For Immediate Release: September 26, 2014
Contact: Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy,
(202) 448-2898 x1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — September 26, 2014
In response to President Obama’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly calling on the international community to confront ISIL, Just Foreign Policy released the following statement by Policy Director Robert Naiman:
“By his statements and actions since June in the United States and abroad, President Obama has made clear the broad outlines of his plans to confront ISIL in Iraq and Syria. But with the noteworthy exception of voting to authorize, with transparency and accountability provisions made possible by demands from Republican and Democratic Members for an independent vote, the President’s plans for arming and training Syrian insurgents to confront ISIL in Syria, Congress has so far avoided exercising its Constitutional responsibility to weigh in on the President’s plans by debating and voting on authorizations of force for Iraq or Syria.”
Congress is expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal to arm and train Syrian rebels. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition. With recent reports that some so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels this proposal seeks to arm have signed non-aggression pacts with ISIS, as in the past, now is not the time to rush into a policy whose consequences remain so unknown.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has introduced H. Con. Res. 114, demanding a robust debate and an authorization vote on any use of force. Sponsors so far include Reps. Grijalva, Ellison, Lee, McGovern, Defazio, Grayson, and Welch.
MoveOn, Win Without War, Peace Action and many other groups have called for a National Day of Action TODAY to say: stop the rush to war in Iraq & Syria!
Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you speak to a staffer (or leave a message), you can use the talking points below:
Hi, my name is ______, and I'm a constituent from _______.
I urge you to vote "NO" on expanding military aid to rebel groups in Syria. More weapons to groups we don’t know, who may use them against us or our allies in the future, will only make the situation worse.
I also urge you to co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 114, demanding a debate and an authorization vote on any use of force and the prohibition of the use of ground troops.
When you’ve made your call, you can report it here:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 10, 2014
Robert Naiman, Policy Director
(202) 448-2898 x1
Just Foreign Policy Statement in Response to President Obama’s Statement on Plans for Military Escalation in Iraq & Syria
Washington, DC- Just Foreign Policy released the following statement by Policy Director Robert Naiman, in response to President Obama’s statement concerning his plans for U.S. military escalation in Iraq and Syria:
We are deeply troubled by President Obama’s apparent claims that he does not need and will not seek Congressional authorization to continue airstrikes in Iraq and expand them to Syria, nor to expand the arming and training of insurgents in Syria, which arming has contributed to the present strength of ISIS. Obama was right when he told the Boston Globe as a Presidential candidate in December 2007, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” President Obama was right to seek Congressional authorization for bombing Syria last year. He is wrong not to seek authorization now.
Judging from press reports, when Congress returns from its August recess in early September, the United States military will have been bombing "Islamic State" fighters in Iraq for a month, with a broader set of missions than originally advertised, and with plans to continue bombing for months.
Sometime after noon today, the House will take an important vote that is likely to determine whether the U.S. launches airstrikes in Iraq.
If the House passes the McGovern-Jones-Lee H. Con. Res. 105, which it well might, direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq will be much less likely. The bill requires the President to seek explicit Congressional approval for involving U.S. troops in combat.
Call your Representative now and urge them to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 105. You can call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. When you reach a staffer, say:
My name is ____ and I’m calling from ____ to urge Representative ____ to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 105 to require the President to seek Congressional authorization before using military force in Iraq.
When you’ve made your call, you can report it using our easy response form below.