Late on Monday, June 26, the White House threatened military escalation against the Syrian government. US defense officials reached by BuzzFeed News said they were unaware the White House was planning to release its statement. Military officials were caught off guard by the White House statement, the New York Times reported.
Urge your representatives to assert Congress’ war powers to challenge Trump’s military escalations by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote at the Washington Post, “While Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East.”
Congress has never authorized the use of military force against the Syrian government, just as it has never authorized U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress, not the President, decides if the U.S. should use military force against the Syrian government, so long as the Syrian government has not attacked the United States. Attacking Syria without Congressional authorization is an impeachable offense.
Some Members of Congress are speaking up. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan said, “Trump must get Congress’s approval before plunging us into unauthorized war with Syria. The Constitution demands it.” Rep. Barbara Lee said, “Congress hasn’t authorized Pres Trump to take action in Syria. A statement released by the WH in the dead of night doesn’t change that fact.” Rep. Ted Lieu said, “Assad is horrific. But Congress has never authorized @realDonaldTrump to use force against him or Syria, a country that has not attacked US.” Rep. Michael Capuana said, “the President must observe the Constitution and seek Congressional approval before he takes any further military action in Syria.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, “If Trump truly believes there is an urgent case for waging war in Syria, he must seek authorization from Congress.”
Urge your representatives to speak up by signing and sharing our petition.