Gauging Support for a New AUMF

Top Republicans in the House, at the request of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), are talking to their colleagues in an effort to gauge support for a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Jan. 7 held the first of a number of formal listening sessions for fellow Republicans on his committee, after weeks of informal discussions. “We had a productive listening session [Jan. 7], and I’m looking forward to continuing them,” Royce said in a written statement provided to Air Force Magazine. “As I’ve said before, if we can get an AUMF done that ensures our commanders have the flexibility they need to defeat ISIS, I want to move it. But ultimately, it is going to be up to President Obama to lead. Containment has failed. The administration already has the authority it needs to take the fight to these radical Islamist terrorists, and it needs to step up.” Ryan said Jan. 7 that he had asked Royce and the majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), to start “the process of gathering ideas … about whether and how we could do” a new AUMF, The New York Times reported. In December, four members of Congress introduced a bipartisan, bicameral AUMF bill; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced similar legislation earlier that month.