Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie expressed his concerns Monday on Twitter over the possibility of U.S. intervention in Syria without congressional approval.
A chemical gas attack in Douma killed dozens of civilians and injured numerous others on Saturday. Syria and Russia have both denied involvement in the attack.
The libertarian-leaning congressman has been consistently critical of further U.S. involvement in foreign wars, calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan and congressional approval if and when President Trump decides to take action in Syria.
“There is No congressional authorization to strike the government of Syria,” Massie tweeted on Monday, including the hashtag #Constitution.
The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) has been used to authorize executive military action under presidents since the 9/11 attacks.
Massie also expressed his concerns over the Constitutional Amendment to Balance Budget Act that the House will vote on later in the week, calling the provision in the proposal that would allow “perpetual war” a “serious problem.”
Massie later echoed his colleague in the House, Michigan Republican Justin Amash on Twitter, after the latter quoted George Washington in a tweet addressing congressional war powers.
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring War with Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject, and authorised such a measure,” Amash’s tweet quoting the first president read.
“[R]ealGeorgeWashington was right,” he said. “The President has no Constitutional authority to make war without Congress… this includes strikes against Syria.”
Amash and Massie have frequently called upon Congress to reclaim their constitutional war powers since entering office, with Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee doing the same in the Senate.
Trump said on Monday that any “major decisions” regarding Syria would likely be made within the next 24-48 hours.
“If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out,” the president said.
“This is about humanity — we’re talking about humanity. It can’t be allowed to happen,” he added.