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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Anthony G. Brown (Democratic Party) is a member of the U.S. House, representing Maryland's 4th Congressional District. He assumed office on January 3, 2017. His current term ends on January 3, 2021.

Brown (Democratic Party) is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent Maryland's 4th Congressional District. He is on the ballot in the general election on November 3, 2020. He advanced from the Democratic primary on June 2, 2020.

Prior to joining Congress, Brown was the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015, and was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1999 to 2007. Before to running for political office, he was a clerk for then-Chief Judge Eugene Sullivan on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

After graduating in 1984, Brown was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served as an active duty helicopter pilot with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division in Europe. After completing a tour of active duty in Germany, Brown entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1992, at which time he clerked for then-Chief Judge Eugene Sullivan on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Brown continued as a member in the Army Reserve where he completed short tours of duty in Panama and Canada.

Military ranks, awards and honors

Brown served in the U.S. Army as an Aviation Officer (captain) from 1984-89 and the U.S. Army Reserve, where he is currently a Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He served in Iraq with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command as Senior Consultant to Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration, from 2004 to 2005 where he earned the Bronze Star Medal. He is also the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star device, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass & "M" device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with "2" numeral device, the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon with "2" numeral device, the Aviator Badge, the Airborne Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Brown's academic, professional, and political career:

  • 2017-Present: U.S. Representative from Maryland's 4th Congressional District
  • 2007-2015: Lieutenant governor of Maryland
  • 1999-2007: Maryland state assemblyman
    • 2004-2007: Assembly majority whip
  • 1992: Graduated from Harvard University with a J.D.
  • 1989-2014: U.S. Army Reserve
  • 1984-1989: United States Army
  • 1984: Graduated from Harvard University with an A.B.

Education

  • JD, Law, Harvard Law School, 1989-1992
  • BA, Political Science and Government, Harvard College, 1980-1984

Professional Experience

  • JD, Law, Harvard Law School, 1989-1992
  • BA, Political Science and Government, Harvard College, 1980-1984
  • Of Counsel, Gibbs and Haller, 2015-2016
  • Colonel, United States Army Reserves, 1989-2014
  • Attorney/Of Counsel, Gibbs & Haller, 1998-2007
  • Attorney, Merrill Lynch, 1999
  • Senior Associate Attorney, WilmerHale, 1994-1999
  • Associate Attorney, Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering, Hale and Dorr Limited Liability Partnership, 1994-1998
  • Lecturer, Georgetown University, 1996-1997
  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Eugene Sullivan, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1992-1994
  • Served, United States Army, 1984-1989

Political Experience

  • JD, Law, Harvard Law School, 1989-1992
  • BA, Political Science and Government, Harvard College, 1980-1984
  • Of Counsel, Gibbs and Haller, 2015-2016
  • Colonel, United States Army Reserves, 1989-2014
  • Attorney/Of Counsel, Gibbs & Haller, 1998-2007
  • Attorney, Merrill Lynch, 1999
  • Senior Associate Attorney, WilmerHale, 1994-1999
  • Associate Attorney, Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering, Hale and Dorr Limited Liability Partnership, 1994-1998
  • Lecturer, Georgetown University, 1996-1997
  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Eugene Sullivan, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1992-1994
  • Served, United States Army, 1984-1989
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, Maryland, District 4, 2016-present
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, Maryland, District 4, 2020
  • Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland, 2006-2015
  • Candidate, Maryland State Governor, 2014
  • Majority Whip, Maryland State House of Delegates, 2004-2006
  • Delegate, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1998-2006

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Federal Lands Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives

Former Vice Chair, House Judiciary Committee, Maryland State House of Delegates

Former Member, Readiness Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives

Member, Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, 1999-2007

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Armed Services

Member, Ethics

Member, Natural Resources

Member, Subcommittee on Aviation

Member, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation

Member, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management

Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

Member, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

Member, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats & Capabilities

Member, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces

Member, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife

Member, Transportation and Infrastructure

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, Law, Harvard Law School, 1989-1992
  • BA, Political Science and Government, Harvard College, 1980-1984
  • Of Counsel, Gibbs and Haller, 2015-2016
  • Colonel, United States Army Reserves, 1989-2014
  • Attorney/Of Counsel, Gibbs & Haller, 1998-2007
  • Attorney, Merrill Lynch, 1999
  • Senior Associate Attorney, WilmerHale, 1994-1999
  • Associate Attorney, Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering, Hale and Dorr Limited Liability Partnership, 1994-1998
  • Lecturer, Georgetown University, 1996-1997
  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Eugene Sullivan, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1992-1994
  • Served, United States Army, 1984-1989
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, Maryland, District 4, 2016-present
  • Candidate, United States House of Representatives, Maryland, District 4, 2020
  • Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland, 2006-2015
  • Candidate, Maryland State Governor, 2014
  • Majority Whip, Maryland State House of Delegates, 2004-2006
  • Delegate, Maryland State House of Delegates, 1998-2006
  • Member, Unite States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, 2020-present
  • Chair, National Lieutenant Governors Association, Southern Regional Executive Committee, 2007-present
  • Member, Saint Joseph Catholic Church, present
  • Board Member, Adoptions Together Incorporated
  • Former Member, Board of Student Advisers
  • Member, Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education
  • Board Member, East Baltimore Development Incorporated
  • Board Member, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore
  • Chair, Governor’s Subcabinet on the Military Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC)
  • Co-chair, Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council
  • Co-chair, Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association
  • Former Chair, Membership Committee, Black Law Students Association, Harvard Law School
  • Former Chair, Prince George's Community College Board of Trustees
  • Member, Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland
  • Member, Governor's Task Force on Medical Malpractice and Health Care Access, 2004
  • Member, Business and Technology Division Task Force, 2000
  • President, Lake Pointe Home Owners Association, 1996-1998
  • Member, Prince George's Community College Board of Trustees, 1995-1998
  • Member, Welfare-To-Work Advisory Panel, Prince George's County, 1997-1998

Other Info

— Awards:

  • Bronze Star, United States Army, 2004
  • Wilmer's Pro Bono Publico Award

  • Roy

Favorite Quote:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

  • ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Policy Positions

    2020

    Abortion

    1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
    - Pro-choice

    Budget

    1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
    - Yes

    Campaign Finance

    1. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
    - Yes

    Defense

    Do you support increasing defense spending?
    - Yes

    Economy

    1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - No

    Education

    1. Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
    - No

    Energy and Environment

    1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
    - Yes

    Guns

    1. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
    - Yes

    Health Care

    1. Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
    - No

    Immigration

    1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
    - No

    2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
    - No

    National Security

    1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
    - Unknown Position

    2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
    - Yes

    Trade

    Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
    - Unknown Position

    Maryland Congressional Election 2018 Political Courage Test

    Abortion

    1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
    - Pro-choice

    Budget

    1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
    - Yes

    2. In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
    - Yes

    Campaign Finance

    1. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
    - Yes

    Economy

    1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - No

    Education

    1. Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
    - No

    Energy & Environment

    1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
    - Yes

    Guns

    1. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
    - Yes

    Health Care

    1. Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
    - No

    Immigration

    1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
    - No

    2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
    - No

    Marijuana

    Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
    - No

    National Security

    1. Do you support increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support?
    - Yes

    Debates/Survey

    October 18 debate

    October 18, 2014

    Anthony Brown (D) and Larry Hogan (R) clashed over education, economic policy and fracking during a debate on Maryland Public Television. Brown advocated for expanding pre-K schooling as a solution to academic performance issues. Hogan countered that the key to Maryland's academic future was the expansion of charter schools. Hogan, the owner of a real estate company, criticized Brown and former Gov. Martin O'Malley for the implementation of economic policies he argued were harmful to small businesses. Brown countered that he would work toward tax relief for small businesses if elected governor.

    The issue of fracking in western Maryland showed clear divisions between the two candidates. Hogan stated his support for natural gas extraction in the state, saying it could boost the state's economic prospects. Brown supported the O'Malley administration's focus on gathering safety and environmental reports about fracking in the state, arguing that there were public health concerns related to the practice.

    Congress Bills
    Elections

    2020

    Some 2020 election dates and procedures have changed as a result of the coronavirus. For the latest in your state, .

    Maryland's 4th Congressional District election, 2020 (June 2 Republican primary)

    Maryland's 4th Congressional District election, 2020 (June 2 Democratic primary)

    General election
    General election for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    Incumbent Anthony G. Brown and George McDermott are running in the general election for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on November 3, 2020.

    Anthony G. Brown (D)

    George McDermott (R)

    Democratic election
    Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    Incumbent Anthony G. Brown defeated Shelia Bryant and Kim Shelton in the Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on June 2, 2020.

    Anthony G. Brown
    77.6%
    110,232 Votes

    Shelia Bryant
    18.8%
    26,735 Votes

    Kim Shelton
    3.6%
    5,044 Votes

    Total votes: 142,011

    Republican election
    Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    George McDermott defeated Nnabu Eze and Eric Loeb in the Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on June 2, 2020.

    George McDermott
    56.4%
    11,131 Votes

    Nnabu Eze
    22.9%
    4,512 Votes

    Silhouette Placeholder Image.png

    Eric Loeb
    20.8%
    4,098 Votes

    Total votes: 19,741

    2018

    General election
    General election for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    Incumbent Anthony G. Brown defeated George McDermott and David Bishop in the general election for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on November 6, 2018.

    Anthony G. Brown (D)
    78.1%
    209,642 Votes

    George McDermott (R)
    19.9%
    53,327 Votes

    David Bishop (L)
    2.0%
    5,326 Votes
    Other/Write-in votes
    0.1%
    288 Votes

    Total votes: 268,583
    (100.00% precincts reporting)

    Democratic election
    Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    Incumbent Anthony G. Brown advanced from the Democratic primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on June 26, 2018.

    Anthony G. Brown
    100.0%
    80,699 Votes

    Total votes: 80,699

    Republican election
    Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4

    George McDermott advanced from the Republican primary for U.S. House Maryland District 4 on June 26, 2018.

    George McDermott
    100.0%
    12,485 Votes

    Total votes: 12,485

    2016

    rated this race as safely Democratic. In Maryland's 4th Congressional District, incumbent Donna Edwards (D) chose not to run for re-election in 2016, instead choosing to pursue election to the U.S. Senate. Anthony Brown (D) defeated George McDermott (R), Benjamin Lee Krause (L), Kamesha Clark (G), and Adrian Petrus (D write-in) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Brown defeated Warren Christopher, Matthew Fogg, Glenn Ivey, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, and Terence Strait in the Democratic primary, while McDermott defeated Robert Broadus, Rob Buck, and David Therrien to win the Republican nomination. The primary elections took place on April 26, 2016.

    U.S. House, Maryland District 4 General Election, 2016

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony Brown 74.1% 237,501
    Republican George McDermott 21.4% 68,670
    Green Kamesha Clark 2.6% 8,204
    Libertarian Benjamin Lee Krause 1.8% 5,744
    N/A Write-in 0.2% 531
    Total Votes 320,650
    Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

    U.S. House, Maryland District 4 Democratic Primary, 2016

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony Brown 41.6% 47,678
    Glenn Ivey 34% 38,966
    Joseline Pena-Melnyk 19% 21,724
    Warren Christopher 3.5% 3,973
    Matthew Fogg 1.3% 1,437
    Terence Strait 0.7% 845
    Total Votes 114,623
    Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

    U.S. House, Maryland District 4 Republican Primary, 2016

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngGeorge McDermott 45.8% 10,882
    David Therrien 26.2% 6,219
    Robert Broadus 16.7% 3,977
    Rob Buck 11.4% 2,703
    Total Votes 23,781
    Source: Maryland State Board of Elections

    2014

    Brown was the Democratic nominee for election to succeed term-limited incumbent Martin O'Malley (D) as Governor of Maryland in 2014. The outgoing governor endorsed the Democratic ticket of Brown and his lieutenant gubernatorial running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman in late 2012. Brown and Ulman secured the Democratic nomination in the primary election on June 24, 2014; they faced the Republican ticket of Larry Hogan and Boyd Rutherford and Libertarian ticket of Shawn Quinn and Lorenzo Gaztanaga in the general election on November 4, 2014.

    Results

    Primary election

    Governor of Maryland, Democratic Primary, 2014

    Candidate Vote % Votes
    Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony Brown/Ken Ulman 51.4% 249,398
    Douglas Gansler/Jolene Ivey 24.2% 117,383
    Heather Mizeur/Delman Coates 21.6% 104,721
    Cindy Walsh/Mary Elizabeth Wingate-Pennacchia 1.4% 6,863
    Charles Smith/Clarence Tucker 0.7% 3,507
    Ralph Jaffe/Freda Jaffe 0.7% 3,221
    Total Votes 485,093
    Election results via Maryland State Board of Elections.
    General election

    Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, 2014

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLarry Hogan/Boyd Rutherford 51% 884,400
    Democratic Anthony Brown/Ken Ulman 47.2% 818,890
    Libertarian Shawn Quinn/Lorenzo Gaztanaga 1.5% 25,382
    Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 4,505
    Total Votes 1,733,177
    Election results via Maryland State Board of Elections
    Endorsements
    Brown was endorsed by LEAP Forward.
    U.S. Sen Ben Cardin (D)
    Maryland-DC AFL-CIO Council
    Speeches
    Articles

    The Washington Post - When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Our Military, the U.S. Has a Serious Diversity Problem

    Jul. 27, 2020

    By Rep. Anthony Brown U.S. Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. was unanimously confirmed last month as the Air Force's chief of staff. Brown is the first African American to lead a U.S. military service and the first African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Colin Powell -- 27 years ago. Brown's outstanding achievement gives African Americans a much-needed seat at the leadership table in the U.S. military. But even Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the second-highest-ranking officer in the American military, acknowledged it is "absolutely not right" that it has taken nearly three decades for it to happen. The Joint Chiefs is not the only sphere that suffers from a lack of representation. When it comes to congressional oversight of the United States' armed forces, our nation has a serious diversity problem. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees are two of the most powerful standing committees in Congress. They provide oversight and set funding levels for the Department of Defense and portions of the Department of Energy -- nearly half of the government's discretionary budget. The Senate Armed Services Committee has the distinguished mission of advising and consenting on the nominations of both senior military and civilian nominees for the Defense Department. But African American voices are almost nowhere to be found on those critical committees. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) is the only elected African American member of Congress on either the House or Senate Armed Services Committees. These committees decide on pay raises for service members, regulate their health and housing benefits and can even limit deployments or redeployments. Rep. Brown brings a distinguished military background to the committee, having retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a colonel and having served both as an aviator and a JAG officer. In addition to his military service, he was Maryland's lieutenant governor, both of which make him a powerful voice in Congress. But one voice is not enough. The national defense authorization and appropriation bills from the 2020 fiscal year authorized $738 billion toward defense spending. The dearth of African American voices on civilian oversight committees is even more stark considering that 17 percent of our nation's 2.1 million service members, approximately 357,000, are black, yet they are the least represented on their oversight committees. There are many reasons for the lack of diversity in the U.S. national security establishment. The national security arena can be complex and exclusive, which creates a steep learning curve for those who wish to enter. One does not simply apply to be the secretary of the Army, Navy or Air Force; the most talented of individuals still need a senior-level person to sponsor and guide them through the pipeline with the end goal of gaining enough of a platform to prove their national security credentials on a large stage. For civilians, the Armed Services Committees are that powerful stage. But as things stand now, the utter lack of diversity at the top ranks makes it more difficult for a younger generation of women and racial minorities to visualize a clear pathway for success for themselves in the national security apparatus. Rep. Brown was the only African American voice present during committee consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which will change the laws regulating the military's ability to disperse peaceful protesters and remove Confederate names and the display of the Confederate flag from Defense Department installations. Both Gen. Brown and Rep. Brown deserve better. Americans deserve more diversity in those rooms and on committees. As new African American members are sworn into the 117th Congress, they should strongly consider serving on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to give their constituents and African American service members more of a voice on these issues. It is unacceptable that these conversations and decisions about our racial history are being made about us, but without us in the room. African Americans have served in every war for the United States, dating back to our founding. African American soldiers are the largest and longest-serving minority group of the Armed Services. In a time when our country is reckoning with a dismal record of injustice for African Americans, it is utterly distressing that the health and safety of more than 350,000 African American service members are determined in part by a committee that includes only one person who looks like them. In a truly just society, congressional committees should reflect the rich composition of the service members they oversee. It is past time to right this wrong.

    The Baltimore Sun - Righting the Military's Role in Our Democracy

    Jul. 20, 2020

    By Rep. Anthony Brown The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests have compelled a righteous reckoning. Facing pressure from a large and diverse movement of Americans, many of our country's institutions are facing up to their role in perpetuating racial injustice. This reckoning should extend to our nation's armed forces. Congress has both the capacity and responsibility to ensure that the military, often a leader on racial equality since President Truman desegregated it in 1948, continues to set an example for the country. While one of us serves in Congress and the other leads a human rights organization, we both wore the uniform of our country as Army officers. We led soldiers into battle and lost some of them in combat. It is because of our commitment to the military that we wish to see it even more faithfully reflect our country's ideals. The most straightforward issue at hand is the rechristening of military bases currently named for Confederate leaders. Surely it is not too much to ask that the nomenclature of the military align with its mission. The purpose of the American military is to protect all of us, not the legacies of a small group of traitors. For a nation founded on ideas, symbols are substance, whom we choose to memorialize speaks to what values we honor. Our military should celebrate those who fought for freedom, not those who led the effort to tear our country apart in the name of chattel slavery and white power. There's no non-racist reason that our armed forces should be shackled to the symbolism of the Confederacy. Both the House and Senate version of the annual defense policy bill contain amendments that would rename bases. Each amendment passed in committee with bipartisan support, yet President Donald Trump says he will veto the entirety of the legislation based on this issue. The question is whether Republicans will side with the president or with racial progress. A more complex problem: Military culture and weaponry have crept into American civil society, especially policing. The rise of the "warrior cop" has obscured the crucial distinction between the police and the military. As more police officers see themselves as commandos and more police forces resemble occupying armies, Black people pay the heaviest price, sometimes in blood. With the support of Congress, our cities and states should institute training that teaches police to respect communities' cultures and to problem-solve rather than treat every interaction as a potential confrontation. In Washington state, for instance, Sheriff Sue Rahr (retired), executive director of the state's Criminal Justice Training Commission, has pioneered an approach that sees police as guardians, not warriors. When political leaders consider our public square "battle space" and threaten to use active duty military to quell protests, something has gone terribly wrong. In places where political leaders capriciously use the military against domestic unrest, major human rights problems arise -- and public support for the military suffers. While President Trump's threat to use military force against American protesters triggered widespread opposition, the problem of militarized policing remains. In the upcoming debate over the defense bill, Congress will vote on a crucial element of any solution: ending the Defense Department's 1033 program. Organizations meant to serve the public shouldn't be equipped like combat units, with M4 carbines and armor-piercing ammunition, grenades and launchers, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, armed drones, or anything from the federal supply class of banned items. Yet through that program, the military gives these weapons of war at minimal or no cost to police departments around the country. The program also transfers military equipment and weaponry to agencies like Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If we are serious about making law enforcement more just and our immigration system more humane, restricting and ultimately scrapping the 1033 program should be a top legislative priority. Those are two vital steps Congress can take. There are others, from reforming the Insurrection Act to restricting military deployments to the southern border and combating white nationalism among service members. Such steps would strengthen the military as well as the country. The military is among the most respected institutions in American society, and rightly so. Congress should both leverage and enhance the military's reputation by making sure it bolsters democracy at home. As the movement sparked by tragedy demands justice, Congress can put the military where it belongs: out of policing and on the forefront of progress.

    The Hill - Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to limit further expansion of 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act

    Jul. 9, 2020

    By Reps. Anthony Brown, Tom Cole, Abigail Spanberger, and Don Bacon We come together as Republicans and Democrats to advance a common cause. We represent the north and the south, the coasts and the countryside. Some of us have served in Congress for nearly two decades -- but for some of us, this term is our first in the House. Together, we are united by a core principle: Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution makes clear that the authority to declare war resides with Congress and Congress alone. Today, we are introducing legislation based on our commitment to this fundamental belief. Our bill -- the Limit on the Expansion of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act -- states that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) cannot be used as the basis for sending our military into any country where U.S. armed forces are not engaged in hostilities today, thus halting the ever-expanding use of this authorization. In the nearly two decades since Sept. 11, 2001, this AUMF has been used to conduct military operations in dozens of countries. And each time this authorization was used as the legal justification for the deployment of American servicemembers into harm's way in a new country, there was neither a vote in Congress -- nor even a debate. Today's Congress is very different from the one that authorized the 2001 law, with only one of every six members of the House of Representatives who voted for it still in office today. The American people are long overdue for a public debate on the use of military force, and our bill helps make that happen. Different from other efforts to address challenges with the AUMF, this bill is neither an attempt to repeal the authorization nor a statement on current or previous U.S. military actions. Additionally, we are not attempting to replace the AUMF or prohibit the use of force against any nation or organization. Instead, this legislation would put constitutional guardrails on the further expansion of an almost two-decades-old authorization. Debating and enacting this bill would be an incremental and necessary step, one on which we have already achieved bipartisan agreement and one that could realistically happen in the short term. This legislation would not impact our ability to defend our nation, our citizens, and our allies from foreign threats. If enacted, our military operations under the 2001 AUMF could continue in the countries where we are operating today. Our armed services will continue to train and assist our partners and allies in order to advance our shared security priorities. And our president will retain his Article II constitutional authority as commander in chief and will not be prohibited from taking action against any country or organization. In the event that the president must act to defend the United States in a country where we are not operating today, he could do so under the terms laid out in the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The president would be required to notify Congress regarding the introduction of forces, giving Congress 60 days to debate and determine if an authorization for use of military force is appropriate. We have arrived at our legislation through deliberate discussion. If each of us were to have acted independently, we likely would have crafted very different legislation. However, the nature of our democracy is that we must find common ground. As such, we will continue to work closely with our colleagues as the U.S. House considers this legislation -- and we will do so through regular debate and order, in line with the principles of this bill. These are not the kind of decisions that should be made without rigorous and transparent consideration. We must do right by our constituents and the Constitution and fulfill our obligation to debate the grave decision of sending our servicemen and women into conflicts overseas. We are not determining where that debate will lead or which arguments will arise. Yet, we are unified in strongly stating that we must start by having the debate.