Obama Uninterested in Lame Duck AUMF

Bob Menendez seems surprised that the President is not rushing witnesses to his Committee so it can get to work on revising and cleaning up AUMFs.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the White House was being uncooperative by not sending over an official who could testify on what kind of a measure they would want.

“The administration is not producing witnesses, which makes such an important issue very difficult to formulate,” said Menendez, whose committee would be responsible for working on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) bill.  

“You would think that they would want to work with us, so that we can fashion an AUMF that would give the president the wherewithal to fight ISIL successfully but by the same token, tailor it enough so we don’t end up in an open-ended conflict as we have seen under the 2001 AUMF,” Menendez said, using an alternate name for the terrorist group.

Not me. It looks more and more like my initial guess was correct: that Obama will wait for the Republicans who will “force” him to accept a far broader AUMF, one that will both interpret executive authority broadly, but also one that will place the blame for escalation on the GOP.

Obama sure looks to be making the most of losing the Senate.

3 replies
  1. Don Bacon says:

    Senator Menendez can’t write a bill w/o administration witnesses?
    And Obama gets the blame for that?
    “You would think that they would want to work with us, . . .”
    The poor thing.
    Perhaps he could contract for a consultant to write the bill, that’s how most bills are written.
    Bob’s top campaign contributors, according to opensecrets.com, are law firms at $1,753,327 in the last five years. How about getting some of them to do it?

    • Anon says:

      It is true he could go ahead and write a bill but if he wants that bill to succeed he needs to at least know where his opponent is negotiating from.


      His complaint makes sense though if his goal is to admit what it is they actually want rather than letting “the people speak” and forcing him into the briar patch. As does their silence.

      • Don Bacon says:

        In a republic the legislature, primary in the Constitution, initiates wars.
        Madison: The people who are entrusted to make the laws and raise the money to enforce them, the Congress, has a first go, a debate and possibly a decision for war, and then the executive, the president who is “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States” executes the will of the Congress.
        So claiming that Obama has to be in at the birth of a war is incorrect and needless. It is not rocket science to write an AUMF, there are examples. And perhaps a legislator might simply rely on his/her common sense, that would be something. Anyhow, the president has the right to come back with changes. That’s how it’s supposed to be done.
        But no, they have to claim ignorance. They can’t do it without assistance. No wonder the president runs roughshod, with “executive privilege” over the infantile Congress, this bunch of rich babies.

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