(adapted from 5calls.org)
Right after 9/11, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which granted the President the authority to use "necessary and appropriate force" against those who planned, committed and aided the attack, in order to prevent future attacks against the U.S.
For 16 years, the executive branch – first under Bush, then Obama, and now Trump -- has used this broad, outdated authorization to send troops into battle all over the world without any appropriate Congressional oversight. And now Trump again wants to use the AUMF for his strategy for endless war in Afghanistan.
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a bipartisan AUMF to replace the current version. It would sunset in five years and authorize military action only against three specific terrorist groups: al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS/ISIL. The bill also requires the President present a strategic plan to Congress about his plans to protect the country from these terrorist groups, and provide regular updates.
The public deserves to know basic information about the military actions in Afghanistan, such as its mission, goals, and even the number of troops involved. Congress must have some oversight in determining when and where the president sends our troops into battle.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Cassidy and Kennedy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and NEW ORLEANS OFFICE (504) 581-6190 <-- NOTE THERE'S NOW A NOLA OFFICE!
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to express my support for the bipartisan Authorization for Use of Military Force introduced by Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine. I feel that it's time to end the overly broad 2001 AUMF and reintroduce more congressional oversight into the fight against terrorism. I also feel that we, the American people, deserve to know the goals of our military actions in Afghanistan and how many troops our President plans to send into battle.
Thank you for your time, and for your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.