WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of a measure to improve congressional oversight over the use of military force abroad:
"I rise in support of an amendment I join with Ranking Member Smith to offer on Niger. Last October, four American servicemembers were killed in an ambush in Niger.
"We still don’t fully understand what happened—and for some reason, the zeal for oversight that my majority colleagues used to exhibit has dried up in the last 16 months.
"But here’s what we do know: American personnel were in Niger for an advise-and-accompany mission. But some time after these four heroes lost their lives, the Administration said, 'Well, no, they actually fought under the 2001 war authorization.' That’s the post-9/11 AUMF.
"So, four Americans are dead, and, it turns out, we’re fighting the war on terror in one country after another. There are seemingly no limits, and we have a responsibility to do better.
"This is a scandal screaming out for Congressional oversight—not just in this case, but in so many of the far-flung places where our military is engaged overseas. We need to stay focused on fighting terrorist organizations.
"But the law says Congress decides when and where we fight wars, and the Administration appears to be losing track of what authorities it has and where it is using them.
"So I’m glad to join Ranking Member Smith in offering this amendment that, hopefully, will shed light on our mission in the region."
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