As the Forever AUMF 2018 (SJRes 59) (Authority for the Use of Military Force) continues to await action by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one can only imagine the extent of the behind-the-scene efforts underway to sway those few wavering senators who may be reluctant to go down in American history as voting to eliminate Congress’ sole, inviolate Constitutional authority ‘to declare war.’ Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11.
The law would remove Congress from its statutory authority as it transfers “uninterrupted” authority on “the use of all necessary and appropriate force” to one individual, allowing the president of the United States to pursue the Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS and other ‘associated forces” including a proverbial too little-too late report to Congress 48 hours after the use of military force in a “new foreign country,” presumably in the Middle East (other than Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen or Libya).
In addition to pressure within the committee itself, it can be expected that those who will benefit most from a Forever State of War are currently pounding the Senate’s marble halls, perhaps even stalking members of the committee as lobbyists from the MIC, AIPAC and other enthusiasts for war, will do whatever it takes to bring adoption of the AUMF to a favorable committee vote.
Since more than half the committee, fourteen of its twenty one members received a grand total of $3,397,755 from pro-Israel PAC’s as identified by the Center for Responsive Politics, whenever and if ever the final vote comes, it will be positively titillating to compare the vote and the money.
In an interesting reversal of common legislative procedure, the House of Representatives has, as yet, no pending AUMF comparable to the Foreign Relations Committee version while the Senate Committee appears eager to act; perhaps at the behest of one of those aforementioned aficionados of war. If we assume that the Senate Committee adopts the AUMF with the next logical step being a vote by the full Senate, will the Senate create an awkward legislative conundrum without a comparable Forever AUMF 2018 being on a legislative track in the House?
One factor in pushing for speedy AUMF approval might be that there is some new military escapade about to unfold with the need for an unwieldy constitutionally mandated Congressional debate and vote too onerous, requiring too much effort and consuming a colossal amount of time whereas the Section 8 clause might better inform the American public whether their tax dollars are being efficiently used to improve their lives or might even threaten a halt to the steady drumbeat of war.
Perhaps the delay may be attributed to ongoing negotiations of the finer points in an attempt to create a more perfect airtight vehicle. Whether there is a sunshine date or some i’s are not dotted or t’s not crossed makes little real difference in the final outcome since the ultimate goal is to allow war to go forward without meaningful congressional participation while failing to provide the pesky public with information about why their sons and daughters are losing their limbs or lives in some far-away country that is no thre