ACTION ALERT: End Trump’s Blank Check for Endless War

March 7th, 2019 - by CREDO Action

Petition to the House of Representatives:

“Co-sponsor and pass H.R.1274, which would repeal the 2001 AUMF Authorization for Use of Military Force — the flawed blank check that authorizes Donald Trump to wage war, anywhere at any time.”

(March 7, 2019) — Administration officials express doubt about Donald Trump’s abilities. A Republican senator calls the White House “an adult daycare.” Warmongers like John Bolton whisper in the ear of an easily rattled, undisciplined commander in chief.

This is not a man who should have a blank check to wage war anywhere, against anyone, including civilians.

Progressive champion Rep. Barbara Lee has been fighting for years to repeal the 2001 Authorization of Military Force, which allows endless war. Now, with dozens of bipartisan co-sponsors behind her, she needs our help even more. [1]

Trump bombed Syria without congressional approval. He is a reckless xenophobe who is building a war cabinet, wants to destroy the Iran deal and has a terrifying attraction to nuclear weapons. Congress should be doing everything it can to rein him in — especially since the Constitution gives Congress, not the executive, the power to decide where and when to engage in war. [2]

Congress passed the current AUMF in the days following 9/11. Presidents Bush and Obama used it to justify warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, the lethal use of drones and more. CREDO has been working with Rep. Lee to repeal that AUMF for years. Congress effectively handed its own power over to the president — and now, with Trump in the White House, there is even more reason to undo that mistake. [3]

The time to repeal the AUMF is long overdue. It is a flawed, overbroad blank check that presidents have used to justify waging war anywhere, at any time. A 2018 report showed the AUMF justified at least 41 military operations in 19 countries. [4] The authorization fails to specify or limit what actions are authorized, in any way, and empowers the president to target anyone they deem a threat — even civilians.

We have been in a state of constant war since 2001. It has cost the lives of far more than 500,000 people, including more than 250,000 civilians and nearly 15,000 U.S. military personnel and contractors, not to mention nearly $6 trillion. [5] But now, Congress is poised to take a crucial step.

Rep. Lee’s bill would repeal the AUMF and give Congress eight months to come up with a narrow, focused replacement. It is the constitutional and responsible thing to do, and we need to echo the growing bipartisan pressure in both the House and Senate to back it.

Rep. Lee was the sole vote against the AUMF in 2001. Now, she finally has some other members of Congress standing with her against endless war. It’s clear why: We can’t afford to continue giving Donald Trump a blank check for war.

ACTION: Tell the House of Representatives: End Trump’s blank check for endless war.


1. Rep. Barbara Lee, “Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces AUMF Repeal Legislation,” Feb. 14, 2019.

2. Elizabeth Goitein, “The Corker-Kaine Bill Would Codify, not End, the Forever War,” Defense One, April 17, 2018.

3. Ibid.

4. Matthew Weed, “Presidential References to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Publicly Available Executive Actions and Reports to Congress,” Congressional Research Service, Feb. 16, 2018.

5. Netta Crawford, “Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars: Lethality and the Need for Transparency,” Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, November 2018.