With expectations high that President Donald Trump will order airstrikes or a bombing campaign against Syria at any time, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared Wednesday afternoon that the president has "no legal authority" to directly target the government or military forces of Syria—a sovereign nation.
President Trump has no legal authority for broadening the war in Syria. It is Congress, not the president, who determines whether our country goes to war, and Congress must not abdicate that responsibility. https://t.co/wHnwrXsyxj— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 11, 2018
"We have been in Afghanistan for 17 years and Iraq for 15 years. The result has been massive regional instability, terrible loss of life, and a cost of trillions of dollars," said Sanders in a statement. "If President Trump believes that expanding the war in Syria will bring stability to the region and protect American interests, he should come to Congress with his ideas."
Far from alone in his assertion, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have also attempted to remind the president, and the American people, that Trump has no authority to unilaterally attack another country—aka start a war. Any military action taken without congressional approval, lawmakers argued, would be an "unconstitutional" violation.