Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern Applauds Obama Call for Congress to Vote on ISIS War

Dec 6, 2016
Press Release
McGovern Praises Obama Foreign Policy Speech Saying Debate and Vote on War Against ISIS is Long Overdue

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice on foreign policy and human rights, praised President Obama’s foreign policy speech tonight for calling Congress to task for their failure to vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the U.S. war against ISIS.

In tonight’s speech, President Obama said, “Right now we are waging war under authority provided by Congress over 15 years ago…Two years ago, I asked Congress. Let’s update the authorization. Provide us a new authorization for the war against ISIL reflecting the changing nature of the threats. Reflecting the lessons we’ve learned from the last decade. So far, Congress has refused to take a vote. Democracies should not operate in a state of permanently authorized war. That’s not good for our military. That’s not good for our democracy.” Click Here for the Video Clip of President Obama’s Speech.

Congressman McGovern applauded President Obama’s speech: “President Obama’s speech tonight was a powerful reminder that Congress is sitting on the sidelines in the war against ISIS. The U.S. has now been at war with ISIS for more than two years, spent more than $6.8 billion on these military operations, and still Congress has failed to vote on whether to authorize this war. Americans are tired of endless war and that’s why this debate and vote is so important.

“Speaker Ryan promised to make a debate and vote on an AUMF for the war against ISIS a top priority this year. Now 2016 is nearly done and there’s no AUMF in sight. While America’s brave men and women in uniform are putting themselves in harms’ way in the fight against ISIS, Congress refuses to do its duty and authorize their deployment. 

“President Obama did his job by sending Congress an AUMF for the war on ISIS. It is up to Congress to do its job by either debating and voting on that proposal or putting forward its own. Tonight I join President Obama in once again calling on Congress to step up and finally do its constitutional duty to debate and vote on an AUMF for Iraq and Syria.”

Congressman McGovern has been a leading voice in this debate. In November 2015, McGovern led a bipartisan group of 35 House lawmakers in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan calling for a debate and vote on an AUMF for the U.S. military engagement against ISIS. Earlier in 2015, McGovern led a bipartisan push to force a vote on an AUMF.