Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Syria Strike Creates Chance for Lawmakers to Reassert Congress’s War Powers

by Countable | 4.23.17

Since President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian military target used to carry out chemical weapons attacks on Syria two weeks ago there has been increased focus on whether Congress will provide an authorization for military operations in the wartorn country.

The Trump administration has said that its action against the Syrian base was only in response to the chemical attack — not a precursor to larger U.S. involvement — and that operations in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are allowed under a post-9/11 counterterrorism authorization. However, lawmakers in Congress are primed to reassert the legislature’s power in the war-making process.

The day before Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from U.S. Navy destroyers struck a Syrian airbase, a bipartisan pair of congressmen introduced a bill that would prohibit offensive military action in Syria without congressional authorization. Reps. Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) both want Congress to give its consent before any further military operations occur in Syria, but so far a consensus on what an authorization would cover or when it'd be addressed hasn't been reached.

While it wouldn’t apply to actions taken against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one proposal in Congress would authorize the use of military force against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. Sen. Todd Young’s (R-IN) resolution not only provides an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS that some have waited more than two years for, it also repeals an AUMF for combatting the Taliban and Al Qaeda after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and another from 2002 which authorized the invasion of Iraq. Critics say those authorizations have been used to justify unending conflict since their adoption.

Congress hasn’t yet announced the legislative schedule for its returns from recess, but given that some lawmakers called for the Passover & Easter holiday break to be delayed so members could debate an authorization, the issue could soon find itself on the agenda.

Tell your reps if you think Congress should authorize additional military actions in Syria and if a new AUMF is needed to deal with ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban using the "Take Action" button.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps via Wikimedia / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(71)
  • Martha
    04/23/2017
    ···

    This is a great opportunity to help reestablish checks and balances.

    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
  • UnapologeticallyAmerican
    04/23/2017
    ···

    The rules of war being written mostly by those who have never fought in one.

    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
  • Brian
    04/23/2017
    ···

    This strike should have required some approval from congress.

    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
  • Ingrid
    04/23/2017
    ···

    Congress should definitely reassert the power given to it to authorize any offensive actions in Syria and elsewhere. The President cannot and should not be the sole decision maker for involvement of the country in war. While this may make the decision take a little longer to make, if our country is sending our military into battle, the representatives of those individuals (House and Senate) need to be involved in that decision.

    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    04/23/2017
    ···

    It is time for congress to reassert its war powers. Many in congress ran on the promise to exercise oversight on the executive branch and the "common defense" is specified in the first sentence of the constitution. It is time.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joan
    04/24/2017
    ···

    If you love your country you will do all you can to protect us from this President who seems intent on starting WW 3. Congress must demand that the President follow the rules.

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
  • Chuck
    04/23/2017
    ···

    An AUMF is needed to protect from a reckless Trump military action. He cannot be trusted to make a rational decision

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • Nicole
    04/23/2017
    ···

    We need to handle involvement in other countries very carefully. Remember what our involvement in Vietnam and, decades later, in the second US-initiated Iraq war led to--lots of tortured or killed POWs and ISIS, respectively. Desperate people do desperate things. And the lack of a true resolution in Korea may be the real cause of North Korea's president's nuclear activities.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Beverly
    04/24/2017
    ···

    No more war!!!

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Douglas
    04/23/2017
    ···

    It's my understanding that the presidential powers include the right to take a limited military action and does not need congressional approval or United Nations approval prior to any action. Congressional approval is needed when a President declares war and that's the reason why Presidents in the past couple of decades have side stepped congressional approval or declaring war. It's always a better idea to get congressional approval and or United Nations on the same page prior to any action. At this stage I'm not convinced that the president has exhausted all diplomatic options in Syria.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Eileen
    04/24/2017
    ···

    Many people have serious questions about the Syrian strikes. Fifty nine missiles at a cost of millions of dollars were used against Syria, doing almost no damage. Russia was warned, thus Syria was warned before the attack. This from a president who, multiple times, stated he would not let the American people know his next move because his enemies might use the information. The whole affair squandered tax dollars and is decidedly fishy. T cannot be trusted to make these decisions. Congress must have the call. As the Senate and House currently exist, I don't much trust them either, but there are many heads to think, rather than just the one, and I know some are working for the good of the country.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joel
    04/23/2017
    ···

    Congress must authorize this!

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Tyler.Liberty
    04/23/2017
    ···

    The Bush and Obama presidencies have brought us very far from the constitution and checks and balances. Maybe the outrage towards Trump will fix what the other 2 ruined.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Chuck
    04/24/2017
    ···

    Yes! That's your job Congress!

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Vlad
    04/24/2017
    ···

    It is imperative that Congress take back any and all "war powers" immediately. The person occupying the Oval Office cannot be trusted. As each day goes by, my trust level keeps going lower instead of higher.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jeannette
    04/23/2017
    ···

    Laura your so misinformed that I'm embarrassed for you. You should have learned by now that President Trump has been restoring the three branches of power that your illegitimate bastard president eroded.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sherrie
    04/24/2017
    ···

    Has anyone spoken to the president about over steeping in this conflict or has been the same as not releasing his tax papers, business deals, etc.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Tyler
    04/24/2017
    ···

    Why do I get the feeling that all the people here criticizing Trump's strike had no problem with Obama's 500+ drone strikes

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Kenneth
    04/24/2017
    ···

    For congress to do anything less would be a dereliction of their duties. The congress is the only branch of our government granted the authority to declare war. They were never meant to cede that authority to the executive branch as they did under W.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • SherryTX
    04/24/2017
    ···

    The president has authority to make the call to make a military strike, he IS the commander in chief. Congress must approve a DECLARATION of war. A military strike requires quick decisions, not the snails' pace of Congress. We can't change the rules just because some don't like the President.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share