March 13, 2018 3:45 a.m.
Congressman Peter DeFazio is among a group of lawmakers asking President Donald Trump to “show cause” for military action that began in Syria in 2017.
A release from DeFazio says he and 38 other representatives want the President to provide legal reasons for the action. DeFazio says it has been reported that the administration has a memo detailing the justification for the April 6, 2017 U.S. strikes against the Shayrat military airbase in Syria. The members are asking that the information be shared with Congress and the American public.
DeFazio’s release says that Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war and the 1973 War Powers Resolution requires the president to report to Congress within 48 hours of introducing U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities if there has not been a formal declaration of war. DeFazio says the Trump Administration should provide a copy of any existing documents so that Congress can assess the need for the continued use of force in Syria.
DeFazio says he believes that in sending troops to Syria without asking for Congressional authorization, President Trump has “grossly overstepped his authority”. DeFazio says he criticized Presidents Bush and Obama for overstepping their constitutional authority in committing troops to the Middle East without congressional approval, and he will not hesitate to offer that same criticism of President Trump.
DeFazio says he has repeatedly introduced legislation clarifying the President’s war-making authorities throughout his tenure in Congress.