Press Releases

Demand Progress Responds to Somalia WPR

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.Con.Res.30. The bill would have removed the U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Somalia a year after its passage. During that period, Congress would have been able to debate and vote on the continued presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Somalia.

The bill did not pass but garnered the support of 52 Republicans and 50 Democrats.

Before the vote, a bipartisan group of organizations, including Demand Progress, FreedomWorks, Justice Foreign Policy, and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, issued a letter in support of the legislation.

Following of the vote, Cavan Kharrazian, Policy Advisor at Demand Progress, issued the following statement:

“While the bill failed to pass, this is the first major vote Congress has taken regarding U.S. military involvement in Somalia. Despite a very last minute push by civil society and congressional offices, the lack of Democratic co-sponsor, and a polarizing Republican lead, 102 offices voted in favor. Our coalition will continue to work with these offices to build bipartisan support for future votes on U.S.’s unauthorized hostilities in Somalia. In the future, we strongly urge Republican war powers advocates to collaborate closely with Democratic counterparts, who have been advocating on these issues for years, right from the initial stages of these legislative efforts.

“This vote should be seen in the context of a larger movement by Congress to take back the reins on war powers issues, and especially, the challenge against the over-extension of the 2001 AUMF, which has been used for the past 22 years as a basis to start endless wars.”

“We are disappointed to see members like Rep. Meeks vote against this resolution, despite his recent, bolder push to challenge the outdated and overstretched authorization, which is completely complementary to H.Con.Res.30. In the coming months, we hope to work with key House Foreign Affairs Committee offices, through the National Defense Authorization Act and other vehicles, on issues of war powers and ending endless wars.”

During the floor debate on H.Con.Res.30, Rep. Omar, the first Somali-American elected to Congress, stated, “I and many Somali Americans support this resolution and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Also today, the Costs of War Project released a report “Making Crisis Inevitable: The Effects of U.S. Counterterrorism Training and Spending in Somalia,” which reports that the U.S. has spent “over $2.5 billion on counterterrorism assistance in Somalia since 2007. This total excludes spending on U.S. military or intelligence operations in Somalia, which is undisclosed.”