The Authorization for Use of Military Force is a bill passed by Congress that allows the President to use U.S. troops for a specific purpose. The most recent AUMFs that Congress passed were in 2001 and 2002. The 2001 AUMF authorized force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and affiliated groups after the Sept. 11 attacks, while the 2002 AUMF allowed for force in Iraq. Many in Congress are calling for a new AUMF to deal with present-day and future threats, specifically ISIS.
Congressman Banks serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a supply corps officer and took a leave of absence from the Indiana State Senate in 2014 and 2015 to deploy to Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. He currently serves on the House Armed Services, and Veterans Affairs Committees. As the most recently serving member of Congress, his take on military matters is always one of the most well respected.
Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke on the House floor today about the ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. service members and the need for Congress to pass a new Authorization of Military Force (AUMF).
Click here to view Congressman Banks’ speech.
Text of the speech follows:
Mr. Speaker, earlier this month four U.S. service members were killed in Niger by Islamic militants.
We thank these Americans heroes who paid the ultimate price for our country. Their service will never be forgotten.
As we learn more about this situation, many of my constituents have asked why American personnel are in Niger.
Today we have U.S. service members around the globe fighting or advising operations against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups on several continents.
However, they are doing so under war authorization Congress passed in 2001 and 2002 in the wake of the September 11th attacks.
Rather than continuing to fight ISIS under an authorization passed by Congress sixteen years ago, it is time to pass a new authorization for the use of military force that is focused on present-day and future threats.
The authorizations passed by Congress in 2001 and 2002 are out of date, and I have introduced new AUMF legislation that addresses the modern threats we face.
The Constitution grants Congress the power of declaring war, and we need to take that obligation seriously and debate these important issues. My bill is a good starting point.
With that, I yield back.