congress

Congress: Debate and Vote Before New Libya War

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to significantly escalate U.S. military action in Libya. Administration officials say the campaign in Libya could begin in a matter of weeks.

Urge Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to debate and vote before U.S. military escalation in Libya by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

This escalation is being planned without a meaningful debate in Congress about the merits and risks of a military campaign, the New York Times notes. Pentagon officials have not made a case that the proposed military action has achievable goals, and airstrikes could lead to a ground war.

If Congress takes no action, endless war will likely be extended to a new country, without time limit, without restrictions on the use of U.S. ground troops, and without any limit on who can be targeted, even if they have never attacked the United States nor shown any public inclination to do so.

Urge Congress to exercise its responsibilities under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution by debating and voting on U.S. military escalation in Libya before it happens by signing and sharing our petition:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

TPP: No To Post-Election "Etch-a-Sketch"

In an interview from Davos with Bloomberg TV on January 20, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, a top lobbyist for the pro-corporate-power Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement, assured viewers that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election, she will support the TPP, even though she opposes it now.

Urge Members of Congress to take a stand now on the TPP and pledge to keep the same position after the election by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/tpp-no-post-election-etch-a-sketch

Inside U.S. Trade reported: "The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. He argued that she has publicly opposed the deal chiefly because her main challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also done so. 'If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,' he said."

Donohue also said TPP will not be voted on prior to the election because Senate Republicans do not want to do anything that could jeopardize Republican Senators in close races. But he said he believed there was a 75 percent chance that TPP would get done in the lame-duck session after the election.

Tell Congress: We can’t fight terrorism with xenophobia

Some have used the attacks in Paris Friday to whip up a xenophobic hysteria against Syrian refugees. Members of Congress say their phones are ringing with demands to keep Syrian refugees out, but not with voices insisting that America is a place of refuge from persecution. We need to speak up. Welcoming refugees is our moral obligation. It’s also our obligation under international law.

Help us turn the tide. Call your Representative at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“We can’t fight terrorism with xenophobia. I urge you to reject efforts to block Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States.”

When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

Call-in: Tell your Senator a “No Fly Zone” = Dangerous Military Escalation

It’s magical thinking to claim that US air power is the solution to Syria’s problems. People who claim that US air power can magically “protect civilians” in Syria should explain why US air power just blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. But Washington never seems to tire of the fairy tale that US military power is a magic solution to the world’s problems.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for the U.S. to impose a “no fly zone” to prevent Russia from attacking CIA-backed forces fighting the Syrian government. These calls for a “no fly zone” are demands for dangerous U.S. military escalation against Russia and the Syrian government – imposing a “no fly zone” would mean bombing Syria and attacking Russian and Syrian aircraft. Unfortunately, Hillary’s stand is encouraging other Democrats to call for military escalation.

This is how US wars often start, with breathless claims of an emergency requiring US military bombing to “protect civilians.” How exactly US bombing will “protect civilians” is never explained. If escalation is achieved nobody will check whether civilians were protected or not.

Call your Senator NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“I urge you to reject calls for US military escalation against Russia in Syria, including calls for a ‘no fly zone.’”

When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

President Obama has rightly called Republican proposals for a “no fly zone” in Syria “half baked” “mumbo jumbo.” Senator Bernie Sanders is standing with President Obama and against Hillary Clinton in opposition to these “half baked” proposals for military escalation.

If you haven’t signed our petition against military escalation in Syria yet, you can do that here:

How Bernie Sanders Can Kill the 1%'s TPP Trade Deal

The DC press says it's getting down to the wire on a possible vote in the House on fast track to substantially pre-approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other pending trade deals, with a vote possible as early as Thursday.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who was a close second in a recent straw poll of Wisconsin Democrats, has called for a "political revolution" to revitalize democracy in the United States.

In 2015, Let’s Not Punish the Palestinians for Joining the ICC

A proposed New Year's Resolution: in 2015, let's not punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court. No doubt some Members of Congress - presumably, the ones who aren't busy resigning for felony tax evasion or defending themselves for schmoozing with white supremacists - will try to gin up an outrage festival and demand sanctions on the Palestinians for exercising their rights.

Can Congress End the Cuba Embargo? Many Republicans Want the Embargo to Fall

 A left-right coalition, supported by the president and public opinion, could successfully push Congress to end the Cuba embargo.

Can Republicans nostalgic for the Cold War block President Obama from taking executive actions to improve US diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba? Could a Republican-led Congress vote to end the US embargo? Some Republican leaders were quick to denounce President Obama's announcement that the United States was restoring ties with Cuba. But how many divisions do these Cold War dead-enders control?

On whether Republicans can follow through on threats to block the president, Associated Press is skeptical:

Torture Report: Mark Udall's World-Historical Moment to Rescue CIA Oversight

 "Time Is Running Out on the CIA Torture Report," the National Journal reports:

Sunset an Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq

Judging from press reports, when Congress returns from its August recess in early September, the United States military will have been bombing "Islamic State" fighters in Iraq for a month, with a broader set of missions than originally advertised, and with plans to continue bombing for months.


The United States Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution require that such a war be authorized by Congress in order to continue. We cannot accept that such major decisions about the use of our power and resources, putting U.S. soldiers at risk and shaping the perceptions of the world about us by shedding the blood of foreigners that we don't know, be made indefinitely behind closed doors by executive fiat.

Extend Unemployment Assistance by Cutting the War Budget

 Just over a week ago, the Senate fell one vote short of overcoming a Republican filibuster to pass a three-month extension of assistance for the long-term unemployed.

The New York Times reported: