The U.S. military launched airstrikes against government forces in Syria today.
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to decide when U.S. military force will be used if the U.S. has not been attacked. Congress never authorized Trump to attack Syria, which has not attacked the U.S.
Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA] stated: "If true, this is FRICKIN ILLEGAL. Trump does not have Congressional authorization to attack Syria, a country that has not attacked US."
In January, Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said part of why Obama didn't attack Syria unilaterally - without Congress' approval - was fear of impeachment. "[W]e had no domestic legal basis. We actually had Congress warning us against taking action without congressional authorization, which we interpreted as the president could face impeachment," Rhodes said. "They laid down markers that this would not be constitutional. If we got drawn into a conflict in Syria without congressional authorization, without international authorization, without international support, you can see very clearly how that could have completely derailed this entire presidency."
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:
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:
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.
On Sunday, Republican Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Eliot Engel - a Democrat who voted for the Iraq war - told Fox News that President Obama should strike Syria first and get Congressional approval afterwards.