RECEIVED THIS EMAIL FROM NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC MINORITY LEADER IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THIS AFTERNOON. I LIKE HER WELL-REASONED APPROACH. FROM: Nancy Pelosi firstname.lastname@example.org
To W Williamson
Today at 2:29 PM
Hours after President Trump ordered airstrikes on Syrian airfields in response to Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people, I wrote to Speaker Ryan urging him to call Congress back in to session to debate any further use of military force in Syria.
The Constitution is clear: Article 1 section 8 provides Congress – not the President – with the exclusive authority to declare war.
Further, the War Powers Resolution (WPR) establishes statutory requirements the President must meet to use military force, regardless of whether the use of force qualifies as war. Under the WPR, the President must notify Congress within 48 hours of using force. Congress can then choose to provide the President with authority to continue using force by declaring war, enacting an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) – or neither.
As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria. As I wrote yesterday, the carnage in Syria has displaced over ten million people — five million of them driven from the country, and more than half of them children. Terrorized by Assad and ISIS, desperate for a place to live in peace, they have received rejection from the U.S. under Trump’s immoral Muslim and refugee ban. We degrade our values and our security when we slam the door in the face of children fleeing such atrocities.
Congress has not authorized a war declaration or an AUMF that allows for military force in Syria against Assad. There is rightful concern about further actions the President might take without Congressional approval in response to Assad or Putin, especially because Trump has offered no long term plan for Syria, presented no exit strategy for current military action, proposed an immoral ban on Syrian refugees to our country, and seeks drastic budget cuts to U.S. diplomatic and humanitarian assets.
For these reasons, Congress must do our duty under the Constitution: return to Washington, receive the classified intelligence about U.S. military actions in Syria, and vote any further response. So far, the GOP leadership has rejected our request and has ignored the imperative for Congress to fulfill its Constitutional duty.
It is imperative that the American people weigh in. Please add your name to our petition, and demand that Congress return to Washington to vote before any further military intervention in Syria.
Paid for by Nancy Pelosi for Congress