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House Votes Up Half-Trillion for War; Votes Down a New AUMF to Make It Constitutional

June 16, 2016 (EIRNS)—The U.S. House of Representatives easily passed a $576 billion defense appropriations bill today in a 202-138 vote, while relying on the Authorization to Use Military Force passed by Congress in 2001, which authorized war against terrorists who attacked the U.S. in 2001.

The House defeated an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) (H.R. 5293) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) to pass an AUMF which authorizes war against the Islamic State. Congress, said Rep. Lee, is shirking its responsibility to enact an AUMF, to avoid debating the current war against the Islamic State:

"The authority being used today was written in 2001 [AUMF], and the world has changed. I do think it is our responsibility to balance the powers of the executive and have the fulsome debate."

Thirteen Republicans and 125 Democrats voted for Lee’s amendment.

The House voted today on 108 Amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. Rep. John Conyers’ amendment to bar the U.S. from sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia failed.

A number of idiotic amendments passed, including one by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) to "prohibit funding from the NDAA from being used to enter into contracts for the procurement of energy or fuel for military installations if such energy or fuel originates from the Russian Federation."

Rep. Thomas Massie’s (R-KY) amendment to bar warrantless searches of government databases for the communications of U.S. persons, and to bar government agencies from mandating data security vulnerabilities (so-called "back doors") in data products like smart phones, for surveillance purposes was defeated 372-48.

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