Lawmakers urge Obama to consult them on Iraq

Rep. Barbara Lee and a Virginia Republican have lead 78 other House members in urging President Obama to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)Lee, D-Oakland, and Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., last summer led independent letters calling on Obama to consult Congress before taking military action in Syria. Now they’ve joined together on a letter sent to the president Thursday.

“We do not believe intervention could be either quick or easy,” they wrote. “And we doubt it would be effective in meeting either humanitarian or strategic goals, and that it could very well be counter-productive.”

The lawmakers called for a political settlement involving all segments of the Iraqi population.

“As you consider options for U.S. intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad,” they wrote. “The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize.”

Besides Rigell, other Republicans signing the letter included Chris Gibson, R-N.Y.; John Duncan Jr., R-Tenn.; Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Reid Ribble, R-Wisc.; Justin Amash, R-Mich.; Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.;

Besides Lee, other Bay Area members signing the letter included Mike Honda, D-San Jose; Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz; Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; George Miller, D-Martinez; and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Enana

    If the US doesn’t intervene now it will lose Iraq. If the US loses Iraq it will have no say in the Middle East. Players like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are getting too powerful for the US to compete or have a say. they will rip the world apart while keeping their countries safe.

    It is already late and the US is still trying to please the Saudis and the Israelis by doing nothing.

  • Elwood

    I’m sure that will dissuade President Dumb*** from whatever hare brained scheme he has in mind.

  • JohnW

    So, you have just been appointed and confirmed as National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense, all in one. Your action plan recommendation to POTUS is????

  • JohnW

    Most members of Congress don’t want their fingerprints on any decisions. If things go badly, they don’t have to share the blame. If, by some miracle, things go well, they can always find some way to get into the parade. As JFK said after the Bay of Pigs: “Success has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan.”