Rep. Slotkin Co-Leads Introduction of Bipartisan Amendment to Demand Administration Obtain Authorization from Congress before Going to War with Iran

June 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) co-led an amendment today to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to clarify that neither the 2001 nor 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) can be invoked to justify the use of military force against Iran. 


U.S. Reps. Ro Khanna (D) and Matt Gaetz (R) led the amendment, which must next be made in order by the Rules Committee before it is considered on the House floor during the NDAA debate in July.  


Slotkin is a former CIA analyst who served three tours in Iraq alongside the military as an expert on Iran-backed militias. She served as a top national security official under both the Bush and Obama Administrations, including as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. Slotkin has been adamant in her belief that the laws that currently authorize the use of military force do not grant the Administration the authority to go to war against Iran.


Read the full amendment online here.


“Let me be clear: if the Administration wants to take us to war with Iran, they must get authorization from Congress,” Slotkin said. “That is how our Constitution works. The Administration does not have that authority, and any claim that the 2001 AUMF grants them that authority should be viewed with an extremely skeptical eye.”


“Iran is a bad actor that engages in destabilizing activities across the Middle East, and the United States always retains the right to self-defense,” Slotkin said. “That doesn’t mean that we get into a medium- to long-term war with Iran, and that doesn’t mean that Administration can disregard the Constitution in doing so. We owe it to our military –– and to ourselves as a nation that has been at war in the Middle East for 18 years –– to provide our troops clarity, and to abide by the Constitution that they have sworn to protect.”


“And as an Army wife with a step-daughter who could very well be deployed to the Middle East, I feel strongly that Congress has a responsibility to enforce the roles and responsibilities laid out in the Constitution,” she added. “I’m proud to join my colleagues today on both sides of the aisle in introducing an amendment that provides clarity on authorization of military force, and I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting it.


“Last week, we watched President Trump come within minutes of striking Iran and involving the United States in yet another trillion-dollar war in the Middle East,” Khanna said. “President Trump campaigned on ending costly wars overseas but given the advisors he chose and his recent risky actions, he is not living up to that promise. This bipartisan amendment is a vital safeguard against unilateral actions by this president who selected the architect of the Iraq war to be his national security advisor. This amendment is also proof that opposition to war with Iran transcends partisan politics. With this effort, Americans can come together around the idea that we must stop a war with Iran.”


"This amendment affirms what President Trump knows and believes: unfocused, unconstitutional, unending wars in the Middle East make America weaker, not stronger,” Gaetz said. “The United States must be strong in its approach to Iran, and I applaud President Trump for acknowledging that strength can be demonstrated through mindful restraint. Iran must be prevented from obtaining a nuclear weapon and threatening international peace, but Congress must resolve to ensure that any military action is carried out Constitutionally."