A Republican congressman has introduced a bill that appears to warn President Obama that he could be impeached if the United States gets involved militarily in Syria without congressional approval.
The bill introduced last week by North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones declares that it is an impeachable offense for a president to authorize military action against another country without consent from Congress.
Jones spokeswoman Catherine Fodor didn’t return repeated requests for comment from The Daily Caller about the bill. But it has been reported that it was a response to chatter about the possibility of U.S. military action in Syria.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that “our goal would be to seek international permission” — and not necessarily congressional approval — before taking any military action in Syria.
“And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress,” Panetta said.
A Defense official told CNN that Panetta’s remarks to the committee have been misinterpreted and the defense secretary is not for “ceding U.S. decision-making authority to some foreign body.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the Obama presidency)
Jones’ bill – introduced March 7 — says “the cornerstone of the Republic” is “honoring Congress’s exclusive power to declare war.”
The bill calls “the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress” an “impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”
Both Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul and Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich last year called Obama’s authorization of military intervention without congressional approval in Libya an impeachable offense.