On Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he did not believe President Barack Obama had the constitutional authority to use military force against Syria without congressional approval as the president has claimed.
“I don’t believe he has the constitutional authority,” Paul said. “This power is a congressional power, and it is not an executive power.”
Paul cited the writings of James Madison, and said if the Obama administration does not “say explicitly” that the vote will be binding, then “you’re making a joke of us.”
“You’re making us into theater,” Paul told Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying before the committee. “We’d play constitutional theater for the president.”
Paul said Congress would “probably” give Obama authorization for military force anyway, so the Obama administration should agree to abide by the “verdict” of Congress on the Syria vote instead of indicating it had the authority to strike Syria even if Congress did not grant authorization.