Tuesday, January 26, 2016

McConnell's Blank Check

 By Hugh Farnham

Mitch McConnell quietly slipped in a fast-track bill  for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, against ISIL.  Even Senate Whip John Cornyn was unaware McConnell had made this move.

On the face of it, who could argue against a de facto declaration of war on these savages?  But like all bills, the devil is in the details.  

The method of fast-tracking the bill, called Rule 14, means McConnell can call for a vote at any time - even in the midst of a winter storm.  This could work out like the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, on Christmas Eve when many Congressmen had left D.C. 

This AUMF grants historic and unconstitutional power to Obama, namely:

- Unlimited war not bound by any geographic location (perhaps even within the US)

- War not bound by any time-frame or metrics of success

Currently the 2001 AUMF is the authority for military operations against ISIL, but this is questionable since the original AUMF was against the organizations that perpetrated 9/11.  The danger behind these Authorizations is that the war effort can spill outside the bounds of the original declaration.  

While I rarely quote Democrats, Senator Chris Murphy does hit it right:

"This resolution is a total rewrite of the War Powers Clause in the U.S. Constitution," Murphy said. "It is essentially a declaration of international martial law, a sweeping transfer of military power to the president that will allow him or her to send U.S. troops almost anywhere in the world, for almost any reason, with absolutely no limitations."

But then again, a broken clock is right twice a day. 

Senate Leader Surprises Lawmakers with New ISIS War Powers Request
Photochop Credit to FederalObserver

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