Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) argued on Friday night that President Donald Trump’s strikes on Syria are “unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless.”
President Donald Trump ordered strikes on Syrian forces after reports alleged that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons.
In response, Rep. Amash wrote:
These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless. The next speaker of the House must reclaim congressional war powers as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution. Speaker Ryan has completely abdicated one of his most important responsibilities.
These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless. The next speaker of the House must reclaim congressional war powers as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution. @SpeakerRyan has completely abdicated one of his most important responsibilities.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) argued on Thursday that the existing Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) allows for the president to strike Syria.
Congressman Massie, in reaction to the news that President Trump ordered strikes on Syrian forces, wrote, “I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s ‘Constitution,’ but I’ve read ours and nowhere in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria.”
I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s “Constitution,” but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 14, 2018
President Trump tweeted in 2013 that then-President Obama needed congressional approval before striking Syria.
Trump tweeted, “The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!”
The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2013
Democrats also argued that Trump’s strikes on Syria were unconstitutional.
Rep. Rho Kanna (D-CA) tweeted on Friday night, “This strike is unconstitutional and is a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria. The American people deserve a vote on whether we go to war with Syria, and potentially Russia and Iran.”
Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) contended, “‘Sustained response’ = war. And that requires the authorization of Congress – unless you don’t believe in the Constitution.”
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote, “While Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable for his unlawful use of chemical weapons against civilians, the strikes that are being carried out are being done without an authorization from Congress, which is unacceptable.”
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said. “Establishing this deterrent is a vital interest of the United States.”
Trump added in his televised press conference on Friday night that Britain and France will join the United States to bomb Syria.
Trump revealed, “Today, the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America, have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality.”
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Trump added.
President Trump stated that America does not seek “an indefinite presence in Syria, under no circumstances. As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home.” Trump added that the fate of the Middle East ultimately lies with its people.