Several office-holding Republicans slammed President Trump’s decision to strike Syria Friday night without congressional approval.
The military response came after a chemical gas attack in Douma, Syria killed dozens of civilians and injured numerous others last weekend.
Michigan Congressman Justin Amash did not hold back in his criticisms of the President and Congress. Amash encouraged the next speaker to reclaim congressional war powers.
“These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless,” Amash tweeted. “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.”
Amash and 84 of his House colleagues sent a letter signed by members of both parties imploring President Trump to await congressional approval before launching military operations in Syria.
“Today, @RepZoeLofgren @RepBarbaraLee @RepThomasMassie and I sent a bipartisan letter to @POTUS—cosigned by 84 of our colleagues—demanding that the president not commence offensive military action against Syria without congressional approval, as the Constitution requires,” Amash tweeted.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie was equally critical of the president’s decision, pointing out the differences between the executive war powers of Great Britain and France and those of the United States.
“I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s ‘Constitution,’ but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria,” Massie tweeted.
The congressman was also critical of those who reference the War Powers Act to justify the use of military force in Syria without congressional approval.
“If you’re referencing the War Powers Act, but you’ve never read it, please at least read this short but timely series of tweets,” Massie tweeted, concurring with an earlier tweet from Amash noting that the president cannot take military action for 60 to 90 days without congressional approval.
Massie also questioned those who seem to give President Trump a free pass when they were critical of President Obama for doing the exact same thing.
“[C]an he strike China/Russia/Britain under same authority?” Massie asked in a list tweet. “[D]id Obama have same authority in Libya?”
In the Senate, Sen. Mike Lee was also critical of Trump’s decision, adding that his thoughts and prayers were with our nation’s men and women in uniform.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the American service men and women in harms way tonight,” Lee tweeted. “I look forward to hearing from the President about his strategy for Syria and whether he plans to seek authorization from Congress for any further use of force.”
Perhaps anticipating the backlash from members of the liberty-movement who have consistently called for an end to foreign wars, Trump said the United States “does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria.”
“No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East,” Trump said Friday night. “It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place. The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”