In 1982, angered by a White House secretly escalating an unpopular war in Central America, the House passed the Boland Amendment, a rider to the Defense Appropriations Act of 1983.
The amendment was crafted by Massachusetts Congressman Edward Boland, and was designed to cut off funds the CIA and other intelligence agencies were using to carry out sabotage attacks in Nicaragua and to support the anti-government Contra guerrillas. The Senate had a Republican majority at the time, but even members of President Reagan’s own party were outraged when he launched his Contra-backing warfare without even notifying Congressional oversight committees.
So far, the newly Democrat-controlled Congress has not been outraged enough to use its constitutionally-mandated power to force an end to the lethal war in Iraq. Perhaps they will still rise to the occasion, ending the war by cutting funds for the war.
But there is still time right now—before the Bush administration makes good on its rising threats—to stop the looming war in Iran. We need a new Boland Amendment, one that will pre-empt any possibility of the White House launching an attack against Iran.