Reps. Gabbard and Jones Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Requiring Congressional Approval Before Trump Takes U.S. to War

September 15, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC—In recent days, the Trump Administration has threatened military force against Syria, Russia, and Iran if they attack al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups that currently control the city of Idlib, Syria. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Walter Jones (NC-03) introduced a bipartisan resolution, requiring the President to comply with the U.S. Constitution, War Powers Resolution and U.S. law, and obtain congressional authorization prior to the use of U.S. military force.

Read the Full Text of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Resolution Here

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said: “This week, as we honor the lives lost when al-Qaeda attacked our country 17 years ago on 9/11, the Trump Administration is threatening to start World War III in order to protect al-Qaeda in Syria. Trump’s Administration has threatened “dire consequences” against Syria, Russia, and Iran if they attack al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups who control the city of Idlib, Syria. This is a complete betrayal of those killed on 9/11, first responders, our troops who were killed or injured in the fight against terrorism, and their families. It is a blatant violation of the Constitution, the War Powers Resolution, and U.S. law. Congress must re-assert its authority and take immediate action to prevent yet another illegal, costly, counterproductive Presidential war.”

Donna Smith, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, said: “Congress must retain its Constitutional responsibility over waging war or attacking any other country or adversary, in every possible instance, as clearly outlined in the War Powers Act. The House Resolution introduced today by Rep. Gabbard and Rep. Jones ought not be necessary given standing law and Constitutional authority. But with the recent foreboding of military attack against Syria, Iran and Russia, the President seems poised to overstep his authority. Progressive Democrats of America strongly supports this resolution.”

Barry Ladendorf, Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace, said: “This resolution is extremely important and Congress should consider and pass it immediately.  The Constitution continues to be shredded by executive overreach and congressional inaction as the U.S. threatens belligerent and hostile actions in Syria and elsewhere.  The only way to rein in this President is to reassert the rightful role of Congress. Thank you Reps. Gabbard and Jones for standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan, said: “The Constitution entrusts the war power exclusively to Congress. Members are every bit or more patriotic than is the President. Some, like Congresswoman Gabbard, have risked that last full measure of devotion for the nation. Members salute the same flag. They recite the same Pledge of Allegiance. They sing the same National Anthem. And they risk perishing in the same way from foreign aggression. If the President cannot convince House and Senate majorities to vote a declaration of war, then that war is neither worth fighting nor the life of a single American soldier.”

 

Background:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a leading voice for peace in Congress, advocating against counterproductive, regime-change wars. She has called for President Trump to work towards peace in Syria, and uphold the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution by obtaining the required authorization from Congress before ordering a military attack against Syria.

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Walter Jones introduced H.Res 922, the No More Presidential Wars Resolution, that would reclaim Congress’s war powers authorities by:

  • Defining presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors”

  • Prohibiting the President from perpetuating ongoing wars or supplying war materials, military troops, trainers, or advisers, military intelligence, financial support or their equivalent in association, cooperation, assistance, or common cause without first receiving congressional authorization

Earlier this year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard questioned Secretary of Defense James Mattis on President Trump’s lack of authority to attack Syria without Congressional authorization, and their failure take any meaningful action against al-Qaeda in Syria, allowing them to take control of Idlib, Syria and become stronger today than ever before.

To date, Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States, and Congress has not authorized any use of military force or declared war against the Syrian Government. Watch the full video here.

 

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