Defense Authorization: The Andrews Amendment on Iran
May 16, 2007
The House is considering an amendment offered by Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ-01), which would prevent funds authorized for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from being obligated or expended to plan a contingency operation in Iran.
Rep. Rob Andrews and Rep. Ike Skelton, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, speak in favor of the amendment:
“Any American soldier or service member under any circumstances has the authority to defend himself or herself, and the President has the authority to act under emergency or self-defense circumstances. However, in those circumstances under which the President would wish to initiate a major contingency operation in Iran, this amendment says he may not use funds, which we have authorized and appropriated to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amendment asserts the proper Constitutional authority of this co-equal branch of government.”
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) speaks in favor of the amendment:
“But what it would do is say that we have not authorized, as some in this Administration allege, a preemptive war against Iran because of the Iraq resolution or the 9/11 resolution. That’s simply not true. They were not all that encompassing. And further, it would also challenge a letter, I add, on April 18, 2002, from then White House Counsel, the esteemed Gonzales, Mr. Gonzales, who claims that the President has unilateral war-making authority under the Constitution. No, this simply restates the Constitution of the United States and the War Powers Act. It is law, 93-148, article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.”