There's a big Congressional fight coming on Trump's Saudi arms deal. This deal is controversial because Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are using U.S. weapons to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure in Yemen, deliberately trying to create famine in Yemen; and because Trump's Saudi arms deal is widely seen as a U.S. seal of approval for escalation of the catastrophic Saudi-UAE war and blockade.
Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress has thirty days to pass a resolution of disapproval to block the deal. Senators Chris Murphy [D-CT] and Rand Paul [R-KY] and Representatives Mark Pocan [D-WI] and Justin Amash [R-MI] are expected to introduce resolutions of disapproval within days.
On June 16, 2016, the House narrowly failed to block the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. 90% of Democrats and 20% of Republicans voted against giving Saudi Arabia these intrinsically anti-civilian weapons. To block Trump's Saudi arms deal, we have to make this be like the House Saudi cluster bomb vote, and then do just a little better than that - a few more Democrats and/or a few more Republicans.
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."
President Trump has pushed to increase the Pentagon budget at the expense of human needs at home and abroad. The Congressional Progressive Caucus is pushing back in its proposed budget, "The People's Budget." A coalition of organizations has joined together to support The People's Budget, and Just Foreign Policy is a member of this coalition.
You can read about The People's Budget, and show your support, here.
Progressive French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon - the "French Bernie Sanders" - is now a "frontrunner" in the first round of the French presidential election. That is giving him an unprecedented platform in global media, which he has used, among other things, to challenge Trump's military attack on Syria. When he addressed tens of thousands of people in Toulouse Sunday, the crowd roared when Mélenchon slammed Trump over Trump's illegal attack on Syria. "No Frenchman can accept a global gendarme who decided all by himself the good and the bad," Mélenchon said.
Urge Mélenchon to challenge Trump's support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As a leader of what will soon be the only EU country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Mélenchon has a unique ability to serve as a "check and balance" on Trump's global warmongering. It was France that led the global opposition to Bush's illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. If Mélenchon can stand up to Trump on Syria, he can stand up to Trump on Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen, which the Trump Administration wants to escalate. Trump Administration officials want to help Saudi Arabia and the UAE attack the Yemeni port of Hodeida, which the UN, aid groups, former US officials, and 55 Members of the House have warned would likely push Yemen into famine.
Urge Mélenchon to challenge Trump's support for Saudi Arabia's catastrophic war in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition.
On April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. On April 8, he said he would take additional action as he deemed necessary. He has not yet agreed to seek Congressional authorization before further military action.
Representative Zoe Lofgren [CA-19] is circulating a bipartisan letter to President Trump, demanding that he seek Congressional authorization before further military action in Syria. The Lofgren letter echoes a bipartisan 2013 letter led by then-Republican Representative Scott Rigell to then-President Obama, pressing him to come to Congress before U.S. military action in Syria. 
Urge your Representative to support the Lofgren letter by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Following Nixon's unauthorized escalations of the Vietnam War, the Congressional Framers of the War Powers Resolution knew that it was likely that future Presidents would try to use military force without Congressional authorization. That's why they put multiple mechanisms in the WPR to help future Congresses defend their war powers.
One of those mechanisms was the requirement that the President report in writing to Congress within 48 hours of using military force without a declaration of war, stating: "(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces; (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement."
On April 7, Reps. Peter DeFazio [OR-], Mark Pocan [WI-2], Barbara Lee [CA-13], and James McGovern [MA-2] sent a letter to Trump reminding him that under the War Powers Resolution, he has 48 hours to report to Congress on his unauthorized strike.
Add your voice to those of DeFazio, Pocan, Lee and McGovern by signing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump has attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the U.S. Constitution. Congress must assert its war powers, invoking the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
Congress must insist that no further attacks take place without Congressional authorization and that U.S. forces be withdrawn from unauthorized conflict. Congress must invoke the War Powers Resolution to debate and vote on a privileged resolution for the withdrawal of U.S. forces if President Trump refuses to remove U.S. forces from the conflict.
Urge your representatives to invoke the War Powers Resolution to withdraw U.S. forces from unauthorized conflict by signing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump's ramped-up support of Saudi Arabia's war may cause a famine in Yemen, the Huffington Post reports. Aid workers fear Saudi Arabia is planning to attack and close the critical port of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast, where most of the country's food has come in. The Obama Administration had opposed such an attack, but the Trump Administration may be encouraging it. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has been dependent on the U.S. for military support and diplomatic cover. “If there were a serious disruption to that port, that would, I think, be sufficient to tip the country into famine,” said a former U.S. aid official.
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, notes that Saudi Arabia's diversion of aid ships from Hodeidah is already raising the risk of mass starvation. Using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war is a grave violation of international law.
Press President Trump and Congress to stop Saudi Arabia from causing a famine in Yemen by signing and sharing our petition at MoveOn.
Iraq war architect and Iran war advocate John Bolton is reportedly one of four candidates being interviewed for National Security Adviser. CNN says there are "signs of strong support inside and outside the administration for Bolton."
Urge your representatives to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Foreign Service veteran Greg Thielmann calls Bolton a "prime mover of the Iraq WMD fiasco." Senator Rand Paul calls Bolton a "bad choice" who contradicts Trump's criticisms of the Iraq war, noting that "Bolton still believes the Iraq War was a good idea, he still believes regime change is a good idea." J Street says Bolton is a "completely inappropriate choice" for "any role related to America’s relations with the rest of the world."
Urge President Trump and Congress to oppose the nomination of John Bolton to be National Security Adviser by signing and sharing our petition.
Roll Call reports:
the Trump administration escalated its sudden sabre-rattling toward Iran when President Donald Trump directly criticized Tehran in a series of tweets ... Hours after his top national security adviser put Iran “on notice” and other senior administration officials refused to rule out U.S. military action against the Islamic Republic, Trump himself appeared to threaten the Middle Eastern power in a series of tweets — and the words of U.S. presidents carry far more weight than career bureaucrats briefing behind the veil of anonymity
Call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
I urge you to invoke Congressional war powers before President Trump attacks Iran. Congress must debate and vote.
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't signed our petition to Congress yet, please do that here.