Senators: Don’t give Trump a blank check to wage worldwide war

Trump's head next to tanks and fighter jets looming over the capitol building.

Senator Bob Corker is preparing to introduce a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that would almost irretrievably give Trump the power to declare war around the world. This would be a fundamental abdication of Congress's constitutional responsibilities. It's critical that the president not act without an AUMF from Congress, but writing the president a blank check doesn't cut it.

In the wake of the illegal air strikes Trump launched against Syria, the proposed AUMF is downright dangerous. Bashar al-Assad’s actions are an atrocity, but that doesn’t excuse illegal strikes in response.

This country’s system of checks and balances is set up to ensure that going to war isn’t easy. For this reason, Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the fundamental right to declare war, and forbids unilateral use of force except in self-defense in response to an attack on this country. But under the proposed AUMF, Congress would need a two-thirds majority in both houses to stop the president from going to war. It would give this president and all future presidents more power to send U.S. troops to countries where we are not at war and against groups that the president alone decides are enemies.

In the days after 9/11, Congress enacted an AUMF authorizing the president to use military force in Afghanistan against the perpetrators of the attacks. The following year, another AUMF gave the president the greenlight to invade Iraq. Both laws have been used to justify military action in places and against groups far removed from their original intent – and that’s illegal.

We can’t let Congress pass an AUMF that’s even broader and more dangerous than its predecessors. With terrible violence and instability increasing throughout the world, the stakes are just too high to give Trump a blank check to wage war.

Sign this petition telling Congress not to support this disastrous new AUMF.

To Congress:

Do not support Senator Corker's proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Our country's system of checks and balances depends on it.