While I thank the Eugene Weekly for helping spotlight Congress’s constitutional war powers (“What’s Happening,” 8/1), the article made an ill-informed conjecture about my record opposing war. Even the least bit of research into my career would clearly show that I have been a consistent opponent of war.
To start, I voted against the Iraq War, which I believe was the worst foreign policy mistake in our nation’s history. I have consistently opposed and criticized Presidents Clinton, Obama, both Bushes and Trump for their unauthorized use of U.S. forces throughout the world.
While I voted for the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) — which was passed days after the horrifying Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — I only did so after I successfully persuaded Democratic leadership to reject President Bush’s original draft, which gave him limitless authorization to use U.S. forces as he pleased.
My efforts ensured that the 2001 AUMF was narrowed to only authorize the president to pursue the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
Disturbingly, the 2001 AUMF has been used beyond its original intent to justify the endless wars the United States is still engaged in worldwide, which is why I have consistently supported legislation to repeal it.
I have also repeatedly introduced legislation to strengthen Congress’s war powers, including requiring a sunset clause for any military authorization and forcing the president to seek prior authorization from Congress before sending U.S. troops into harm’s way.
To state that I have not opposed war is a gross misunderstanding of my record.
Rep. Peter DeFazio
4th Congressional District