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Lawmakers Approves Language Revoking War Authority

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment that would revoke a 2001 law giving the president authority to undertake war against al Qaeda and its affiliates unless a replacement provision is created.

Lawmakers applauded when the amendment was added by voice vote to the defense spending bill, highlighting the frustration many members of Congress feel about the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was initially approved to authorize the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It has since been used to justify the Iraq War and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Despite the applause, it is unclear whether it will make it past the Senate and be included in a final version of a defense spending bill. The amendment would revoke the 2001 AUMF after 240 days following the passing of the act, forcing Congress to vote on a new AUMF in the interim.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee said the AUMF amendment "should have been ruled out of order" because the Appropriations panel does not have jurisdiction.

“House Rules state that ‘a provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill.’ The Foreign Affairs Committee has sole jurisdiction over Authorizations for the Use of Military Force,” said Cory Fritz, the Foreign Affairs panel's deputy staff director for communications.

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