U.S. Representative Massie Votes to Force Congressional Debate on the Troops in Iraq and Syria
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Thomas Massie voted in support of a resolution to ensure that Congress debates and votes on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the end of the year. H. Con. Res. 55, which was introduced by Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), requires that Congress either debate and vote on an AUMF for this war by the end of the year, or bring our troops home.
"Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war,” said Rep. Massie. “War requires congressional authorization, and the American people deserve open debate by their elected officials.”
U.S. airstrikes against ISIS began in August 2014 without the congressional debate and declaration of war required by the Constitution. Though President Obama claims the 2002 Iraq AUMF is sufficient, the new military action in Iraq constitutes a new war, with a new enemy, and thus requires a new congressional authorization of force. The President cannot use the 2002 AUMF in Iraq to justify any new action.
“If we are to send our brave young men and women into harm’s way overseas, then Congress must honor the Constitution, declare war, and fight to win. Anything else is illegal, unconstitutional, and likely to lead to horrific unintended consequences,” added Massie.
Representative Massie's floor speech in support of the resolution can be watched here. H. Con. Res. 55 failed by a 139-288-1 vote.