Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Honored for Their Efforts to Strengthen Congress’ Control Over War Powers

WASHINGTON—Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) will receive the 2021 Quincy Award for Responsible Statecraft, Quincy Institute’s CEO, Lora Lumpe, announced today. The annual award honors Americans whose accomplishments best exemplify the Quincy Institute’s founding mission to promote ideas that move U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international peace. The award citation is available here.

Specifically, this bipartisan group of lawmakers is being recognized for their role in championing legislation that strengthens the constitutional role of Congress in exerting control over executive war powers. The National Security Reforms and Accountability Act in the House, and the National Security Powers Act in the Senate would require affirmative congressional approval for any future military interventions or declarations of national emergency, and for most arms sales. This bipartisan legislation would greatly strengthen the ability of the American people through their representatives in Congress to exercise a meaningful check on executive branch decisions about war and peace. 

The award is named for John Quincy Adams, the nation’s sixth president, who 200 years and 83 American-involved wars ago warned that America ought not go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” In honor of Adams’ principled vision, the Quincy Institute awards the citation to Members of Congress, currently serving or retired members of the U.S. Armed Services, members of the Diplomatic Corps, elected officials or ordinary citizens. Last year Representative Barbara Lee received the inaugural award for her repeated efforts to repeal the post-9/11 war authorization, which has since been taken by the Executive Branch as conferring the authority to use lethal force in at least 19 countries in the two decades since it was passed. 

Representatives McGovern and Meijer will be presented with the award at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol next week. Preceding the presentation, Lumpe will discuss with the two congressmen their fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional power over war making. The event will be broadcast on Thursday, December 9 at 4:30pm ET. Media coverage is welcome.