98 Republicans, 18 Dem Congressmen Sign Letter Warning Unilateral Syria Attack is a WPA Violation


At this point it’s mostly Republicans with a few anti-war Democrats willing to stand up for the law. Meanwhile the New York Times is running op-eds like “Attack Syria, Even if It’s Illegal”.

Speaker Boehner sent his own, somewhat weaker letter, to Obama asking him what he hopes the strikes will accomplish. But here’s the main one.

Dear Mr. President,

We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate — and the active engagement of Congress — prior to committing U.S. military assets.  Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.”  In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:

“…President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.”

We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional.  If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute “hostilities,” what does?

If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request.  We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.

Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02) Republican
Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) Republican
Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05) Republican
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) Republican
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04) Republican
Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10) Republican
Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-01) Republican
Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) Republican
Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02) Republican
Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-2) Republican
Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03) Republican
Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-01) Republican
Rep. Joseph Pitts (PA-16) Republican
Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08) Republican
Rep. John Campbell (CA-45) Republican
Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) Republican
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) Republican
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) Republican
Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-03) Republican
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) Republican
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) Republican
Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08) Republican
Rep. Bill Posey (FL-8) Republican
Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-04) Republican
Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11) Republican
Rep. David Roe (TN-01) Republican
Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-01) Republican
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN-02) Republican
Rep. Reid Ribble (WI-08) Republican
Rep. James Lankford (OK-05) Republican
Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-06) Republican
Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN-08) Republican
Rep. Trey Radel (FL-19) Republican
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02) Republican
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) Republican
Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03) Republican
Rep. David McKinley (WV-01) Republican
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (Fl-12) Republican
Rep. Joseph Heck (NV-03) Republican
Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) Republican
Rep. Billy Long (MO-07) Republican
Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) Republican
Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04) Republican
Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-03) Republican
Rep. Doug Collins(GA-09) Republican
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-08) Republican
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) Democrat
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) Democrat
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) Democrat
Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5) Democrat
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) Democrat
Rep. William Enyart (IL-12) Democrat
Rep. Timothy Walz (MN-01) Democrat
Rep. Christopher Gibson (NY-19) Republican
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-04) Republican
Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) Republican
Rep. Michael Capuano (MA-07) Democrat
Rep. Michael Simpson (ID-02) Republican
Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) Republican
Rep. Thomas E. Petri  (WI-06) Republican
Rep. Robert Pittenger (NC-09) Republican
Rep. Walter Jones (NC-03) Republican
Rep. Tom Latham (IA-04) Republican
Rep. Richard Nolan (MN-08) Democrat
Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07) Democrat
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11) Republican
Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06) Republican
Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07) Republican
Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) Democrat
Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-09) Republican
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) Republican
Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02) Republican
Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25) Republican
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) Republican
Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02) Republican
Rep. Sam Farr (CA-20) Democrat
Rep. Steve Daines (MT) Republican
Rep. Robert Hurt (VA-05) Republican
Rep. Steve Southerland, II (FL-2) Republican
Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-06) Republican
Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) Republican
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) Republican
Rep. Robert Wittman (VA-01) Republican
Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18) Democrat
Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06) Republican
Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-4) Republican
Rep. David Loebsack (IA-02) Democrat
Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) Republican
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) Republican
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) Democrat
Rep. Sam Johnson (TX-03) Republican
Rep. Tom Price (GA-06) Republican
Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11) Republican
Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10) Republican
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) Republican
Rep. Steve Stockman (TX-36) Republican
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (WI-05) Republican
Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) Republican
Rep. Diane Black (TN-06) Republican
Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-10) Republican
Rep. Peter Welch (VT) Democrat
Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11) Republican
Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18) Republican
Rep. Gregg Harper (MS-03) Republican
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) Republican
Rep. Ted S. Yoho (FL-03) Republican
Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17) Republican
Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26) Republican
Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-04) Democrat
Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04) Republican
Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01) Republican
Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08) Republican
Rep. Charles Fleischmann (TN-03) Republican
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) Republican
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) Republican
Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7) Democrat

Not a lot of Dems willing to sign on to a letter merely asserting the War Powers Act and asking Obama to convene Congress. So much for the 2002-2008 period hypocrisy.

  • cathy

    Thanks Daniel

    I can only imagine that Barack Obama “crossed a red line” that motivated over 98 House Republican and 18 House Democrats to declare “enough is enough!!”. I hope it is not all a dog and pony show to give an impression that an opposition really exists. Demanding a Congressional vote and threatening impeachment … would have been more impressive.

    116 House Members Sign Syria Letter to Obama
    Aug. 28, 2013

    While the letter lacks signatures from top leaders — Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote his own letter to Obama Wednesday afternoon — it now has 98 Republican and 18 Democratic supporters.

    Read more:

  • EarlyBird

    Yes, this action in Syria only hurts America’s interests. But if the partisanship-blinded psychopaths on this board were not so addled by their Obama obsession, they woudl see that this is exaclty the move they should be supporting:
    – It demolishes any glimmer of hope that Iran-US relations might improve with the new Iranian president.
    – It makes it likely that Iran will retaliate against the US, either its assets and people in the Middle East, or at home.
    – All of which makes the likelihood of the US going to war against Iran on behalf of Israel far more likely.
    – Which makes the Great War With Islam that you war mongering nuts, and members of Al Queda, so desperately want, more likely.
    Bonus: when it all goes go to hell, you can finally, rightly blame Obama for starting it all!

  • Biff Henderson

    Remember folks, come the 2014 election cycle the democratic signatories won’t lift a finger against the One. Barack (Arabic for made to stoop or cower, in vain and thunder [without purpose or direction]) Hussein (Beautiful One) Obamessiah answers to the House of Saud.

  • JacksonPearson

    If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qaeda.

    If Congress has no say even in whether we go to war any more, why don’t we just disband it?

    If a president can plunge us into a war that only 9% of the public supports, why do we keep calling this a representative republic?

    • Gee

      Second time – Libya was the first

      • objectivefactsmatter

        I agree. But there’s something more to be said about doing it even when everyone can see the score in advance. There’s no plausible deniability at this point.

      • JacksonPearson

        Most didn’t know about al Qaeda until the Libyan conflict was almost over, then the black flags started popping up.

        While in Syria, everyone in the world except Obama and McRINO know all about al Qaeda being an integral part of the so-called rebels. /S

    • EarlyBird

      Nothing gets us closer to war with Iran than Obama’s idiotic strike on Syria. You guys should be applauding this.

  • Ken Swan

    How many people on here are actually old enough to remember when we at some point in time in the last 50 years trained all the different Regimes in the Middle East and countries like IRAN and the like were our friends

  • Gee

    What’s so hard for the dumacrats to understand about the law? Even Odumba ran on a platform demanding strict adherence to the WPA.

    There was a Senator Biden that stated he would impeach the President if he didn’t submit to the WPA.

    Why can’t that bloodthirsty tyrant in the White House follow American laws? Is he afraid or just too damn arrogant?

    • JacksonPearson

      Despots understand only one law, theirs.

    • EarlyBird

      Ah! Obama is now a “bloodthirsty tyrant.” Get help, please.

  • Brandi Mastain

    Well as long as it isn’t in your backyard, keep the US our of it.

    My grandfather left Syria in 1888. Born in Syria, he wanted to
    come to the free country.(What they called it back then). He
    was just 15 years old. Worked 7 days a week because it
    is an opportunity he didn’t want to pass up. Freedom.

    My grandmother (his wife) was born in Lebanon. We have generations
    of cousins there.

    I remember in the early 80’s my cousin was shot dead, because he
    refused to join the militant army there.

    That is how it is. Kill or be killed.

    Thousands of innocent people are being slaughtered, with a HUGE
    amount of them being CHILDREN. Why, because they chose to believe
    in God. Now several million are refugees. Fear of mass killing is real.

    Children and women/pregnant woman have been beheaded.

    Yep, Mr. Boehner, you go back to your beautiful home, your quiet neighborhood, spend time with your family, and pretend that children

    across the world are not being beheaded. What a swell guy you are.