Dem lawmakers renew calls for congressional authorization of Syria strikes

Democratic lawmakers fervently renewed their calls for congressional approval of military force following President D...

Posted: Apr 14, 2018 6:50 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2018 6:50 PM

Democratic lawmakers fervently renewed their calls for congressional approval of military force following President Donald Trump's Friday night announcement of US precision strikes against Syria.

"The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement Friday night.

The US' joint military action with France and the UK came as a response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

As questions swirled this week around how Trump would respond to the attack, so did continued uncertainty about updates to Congress' Authorizations for Use of Military Force. The 1973 War Powers Act requires the President to receive congressional approval for any hostilities lasting longer than 60 days. Every administration since, however, has argued that portions of the law are unconstitutional.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Pelosi, as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to notify them of the President's announcement of Syria strikes in the half-hour before Trump's speech, according to the vice president's spokesman Jarrod Agen.

Several other members of Congress echoed Pelosi's statement calling out Trump for not going to Congress to seek approval.

Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, said: "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."

Earlier this week, Ryan had downplayed the need for Trump to seek additional congressional approval, arguing that the President had the authority to approve an attack under the current Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in 2002 and used as a basis for military action in the broader US fight against terrorism in the years since.

"Well, he has the authority under the existing AUMF," Ryan said Thursday, adding later, "With respect to the authorities, the existing AUMF ... gives him the authority to do what he needs to do, what he may or may not do."

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, referred to Trump as "unhinged" in a tweet, while also directing him to go to Congress.

"We cannot allow #Syria's use of chemical weapons. We also cannot allow an unhinged (or hinged) President to unilaterally take America to war. We can stop both. Go to Congress, @realDonaldTrump. Tell us length of time, # of troops, and terrain covered. Americans deserve a voice," Swalwell said.

Other members of Congress have argued that military action against the Assad regime should not be covered by the 2002 authorization.

"The Administration should seek an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) by Congress if it wants to continue to military actions against Syrian forces - the same way President Obama sought authorization in 2013 in a similar circumstance involving Syria," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, tweeted.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, went as far as to say Trump's actions were "illegal."

"Trump's decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without Congress's approval is illegal. We need to stop giving presidents a blank check to wage war. Today it's Syria, but what's going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?" Kaine said in a tweet.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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