Senate Committee Votes Out AUMF on Split Vote

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved a proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force resolution regarding Operation Inherent Resolve with a 10-8 party line vote. The measure now goes to the full Senate. If approved, the AUMF would authorize the President to use US military force “for up to three years,” but it limits US combat activities on the ground, and requires a report on a “comprehensive strategy” on the campaign 30 days after signing, among other points, according to SFRC Chair Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Menendez urged the Senate leadership to bring the measure to a full vote, saying it was its “fundamental” responsibility. Republicans said the language is too restrictive, including Ranking Member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is set to become chairman in the new Congress. Secretary of State John Kerry told the committee earlier that any AUMF should not prohibit options to deploy US ground combat forces in the event of changed circumstances. The resolution, however, only allows for US ground combat operations for the “protection or rescue” of US military members, US citizens, or to conduct intelligence collection, “enabling” airstrikes, operational planning, or other “advice and assistance” in Iraq and Syria.