Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Grijalva

Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) expressed concern about the president's threats to attack Syria this week. (Photo: CPC)

As Trump Threatens to Bomb Syria, Lawmakers Say Attack Without Congressional Approval "Unconstitutional"

Progressive leaders also pointed out that "it has become increasingly clear that U.S. military interventions will likely add to the mass suffering in Syria."

Jessica Corbett

As President Donald Trump ramped up threats against Syria and Russia early Wednesday in response to the Syrian government's suspected use of chemical weapons on civilians over the weekend, peace advocates continued to discourage any action that would escalate the years-long conflict while American lawmakers warned that launching an attack without congressional approval would be unconstitutional.

While expressing concern about the alleged chemical attack, Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), along with CPC Peace & Security Taskforce chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), cautioned against the influence of warmonger John Bolton, Trump's new national security adviser, and reminded the president that "any U.S. use of force must be authorized by Congress first, as required by the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution."

"Syria's civil war continues to be a complex regional conflict," the CPC leaders noted, and it has become increasingly clear that U.S. military interventions will likely add to the mass suffering in Syria."

Condemning "the past two decades of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East—including President Trump's unauthorized airstrikes on Syria last year," they called on Trump "to immediately reverse his policy of denying protections to Syrian refugees fleeing violence," and "to engage our allies and enforce international prohibitions on chemical weapons diplomatically and ensure that proper investigations can proceed."

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) spoke out in support of the CPC statement, adding that any "unconstitutional strike" ordered by Trump should be considered "an impeachable offense."

Lee and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) joined with Republican Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Justin Amash (Mich.) to reiterate in a statement that "the Constitution clearly gives Congress, not the executive branch, the power to authorize war. Any use of force against Syria requires approval from Congress first."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'We Need Fewer Guns in Schools, Not More': Teachers Reject GOP Call for Armed Educators

"Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards," the president of a leading teachers' union asserted in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

Brett Wilkins ·


Faith Leaders, Teachers Mobilize for Protests at NRA's Houston Meeting in Wake of Uvalde Massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

Julia Conley ·


NY Appeals Court Rules Trump and Two of His Kids Must Testify in Financial Fraud Case

"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Kenny Stancil ·


After Racist Massacre in Buffalo, Senate GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill

"There are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence... will ever, ever convince them to take any action," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jake Johnson ·


Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Entire Slate of Democratic Socialists in NY

"As AOC knows," DSA For the Many tweeted, "when we fight together, we win together!"

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo