By JAVIER MANJARRES
An attack on Syria by the U.S. is said to be imminent, but should President Barack Obama take his case to the Congress before taking action?
Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress want the President to consult with them before launching any attack. And it is expected that Republicans like Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Tom Rooney and others, expect the President to reach out and give them a heads up to what he will do with Syria, but for someone like Congressman Alcee Hastings (D) to cry foul, is a whole different story.
“If Chuck Todd can tell me this morning on MSNBC that action is going to be taken Thursday and I’m in the U.S. Congress and no one has consulted me, something is wrong with that picture.”-Rep. Alcee Hastings
Hastings joins fellow Democratic Representatives Democratic Reps. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Gene Green (Texas), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Rush Holt (N.J.) in asking that Obama get congressional approval before striking Syria.Congressman Raul Labrador (R) clearly spells out President Obama’s War Powers duties:
Other Libertarian/Republican Congressmen, Massie and Amash, believe that a air strike on Syria would be unconstitutional.
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.”-Rep. Raul Labrador (R)
So, if Obama attacks Syria with out running it by Congress, would the move be unconstitutional?
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