Part of the Bay Area News Group

More calls for Obama to consult Congress on Syria

By Josh Richman
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 at 11:50 am in Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Jared Huffman, Jerry McNerney, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Obama presidency, Sam Farr, U.S. House, Zoe Lofgren.

Rep. Barbara Lee has gotten 53 other lawmakers to sign her letter urging President Barack Obama to consult Congress before taking any military action against Syria.

Much like the bipartisan letter by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., on which I reported yesterday, Lee’s letter notes Congress bears the constitutional obligation and power to approve or reject military force.

“As such, we strongly urge you to seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any U.S. military engagement to this complex crisis,” the letter says, also calling for allowing United Nations inspectors to complete their and denouncing human-rights violations.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)In a news release, Lee, D-Oakland, said the nation must learn from its experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.

“We must recognize that what happens in Syria does not stay in Syria; the implications for the region are dire,” she said. “This letter is calling for a specific action: debate. Congress has a vital role this in this process and constitutional power that must be respected. The American people are demanding this debate before we commit our military, our money, or our forces to Syria.”

Among those who’ve signed Lee’s letter are Reps. Mike Honda, D-San Jose; Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz; Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; and George Miller, D-Martinez.

I’ve not seen the signatures of Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Napa; Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton; or Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, on any of the letters so far.

But Thompson spokesman Austin Vevurka said Thursday that his boss “believes the use of chemical weapons is appalling and he believes Congress should reconvene so there can be a full and vigorous debate on the use of military force. He also believes any military action must involve an international collation and is continuing to closely monitor the evolving situation.”

UPDATE @ 12:14 P.M.: McNerney spokeswoman Lauren Smith said her boss believes “we need to find a balanced policy that is based on sound and thorough intelligence, and he believes the president should be consulting leaders from both parties in the House and Senate.” Note: McNerney’s call to consult leadership stops short of Lee’s letter, which urges Obama “to seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any U.S. military engagement to this complex crisis.”

UPDATE @ 1:33 P.M.: “Right now the President is still reviewing his options as Commander in Chief,” Swalwell spokeswoman Allison Bormel says. “Should he choose to take action that requires congressional approval, Rep. Swalwell believes the Administration should consult Congress.”

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • EW

    Swalwell’s Rep:

    “Should he choose to take action that requires congressional approval, Rep. Swalwell believes the Administration should consult Congress.”

    How does that even make sense?

    If the President takes action that REQUIRES congressional approval, then the President MUST get congressional approval, not just “consult” Congress.

  • Alcoahead

    @1 –

    Now, now — give the (self-described) kid a break — he just figured out how to vine, poke and tweet with his interns, and we all know how exhausting THAT can be.

  • Elwood

    @ 2

    Do you suppose you could learn a new song?

    This one is becoming quite tiresome.

  • Alcoahead

    @3 –

    Says the person synonymous with ad nauseum repeats of “There are drugs you can take to get help with that” — but THIS is NOT a hypocritical zone, oh, noooooooo!

    Hey, Smellwell likes to constantly prance about the “Interwebs” about how neeto kewl he is as a hip, with-it, protocol-breakin’ Congressthingie — so I’m just givin’ his “reelectbandstandwagon” a littl’ ol’ push with the retweetin’ of his vinin’, tweetin’, pokin’ ways with all of his internie entourage… ;-)

  • Elwood

    @4

    My, you ARE obsessed, aren’t you?

    And yes, help is available for your problem.

  • Alcoahead

    @5 –

    And, yes, help is also available for YOUR problem — although under ObamaCare, it may not be, for YOU.