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Authorization For Use Of Military Force in Response to the 9/11 Attacks (P.L. 107-40): Legislative History

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Publication Date: January 2006

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22357

Topic: Military and defense (Military policy)


In response to the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the Congress passed legislation, S.J.Res. 23, on September 14, 2001, authorizing the President to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons...." The President signed this legislation into law on September 18, 2001 (P.L. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001)). This report provides a legislative history of this statute, the "Authorization for Use of Military Force" (AUMF), which, as Congress stated in its text, constitutes the legislative authorization for the use of U.S. military force contemplated by the War Powers Resolution. It also is the statute which the President and his attorneys have subsequently cited as an authority for him to engage in electronic surveillance against possible terrorists without obtaining authorization of the special Court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, as amended. This report will only be updated if events warrant.