PRESS RELEASE: Representative Massie Introduces Bill to Block Unauthorized U.S. Military Aid to Syrian Rebels
Introduces Bill to Block Unauthorized U.S. Military Aid to Syrian
Massie joined by Reps.
Amash, Jones, Yoho, Roe, Brooks, Pitts, Meadows, DesJarlais, and
– Today, Representative Massie and nine other House members
introduced legislation to block unauthorized U.S. military aid to Syrian
Article 1, Section 8
of the Constitution gives Congress—not the President—the power to declare war.
But the President recently announced his intention to send arms to the rebels in
Syria fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. H.R. 2507, the War Powers
Protection Act of 2013, prohibits any military assistance to Syrian opposition
forces unless Congress issues a formal declaration of war pursuant to Article 1,
Section 8 of the Constitution.
“Since our national
security interests in Syria are unclear, we risk giving money and military
assistance to our enemies,” said Rep. Massie. “Additionally, all
military action must be authorized by Congress. The American people deserve open
debate by their elected officials.”
“America can no longer afford to be
the world’s policeman, particularly where our sacrifices of American lives and
treasury are not properly appreciated. America should not have intervened in
Libya’s civil war and should not intervene in Syria’s civil war. America’s
involvement in Middle Eastern civil wars creates fertile recruiting grounds for
terrorists who seek to kill Americans. At least four Americans are dead in
Libya, in part, because of America’s intervention in their internal strife. The
unanswered question is how many Americans will die because of terrorist enemies
we create or empower in Syria,” said Rep. Brooks
empowers Congress—and only Congress—to declare war. Congress has not declared
war against Syria or otherwise authorized force in that country, yet the
President unilaterally has decided to arm the Syrian rebels. His action is
unconstitutional and must be stopped,” said Rep. Amash
“I am deeply
concerned over President Obama’s unilateral decision to arm the Syrian rebels.
While Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s actions are nothing short of
reprehensible, we simply do not know enough about the goals and objectives of
the rebel factions to justify intervention by the United States. We could very
well be jeopardizing our national security interests by sending weapons to a
group with reported ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda. History has
shown us too often that when we arm extremist groups in the Middle East, we can
expect to have those weapons used against us or our allies at a later date,”
said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04).
“If we had acted
earlier, it may have been different, but now there is a tyrant on one side and
al-Qaeda backed rebels on the other, which is a no-win situation. Neither our
troops nor funding nor weapons should be wedged into the middle of a no-win
situation,” said Rep. Gohmert (TX-01).
“We cannot continue
to spend American money overseas without a vote of approval from Congress,” said
Rep. Jones (NC-03). “For too long, the legislature’s responsibility to
authorize military force has been overlooked. It is time that we uphold the
Constitution, which makes it clear in Article 1, Section 8 that Congress alone
holds the power to declare war.”
“To think we can guarantee
any assistance we provide won't come to the aid of the groups that mean us harm
is naïve at best and fatal at worst. Solidifying Congress’s War Powers authority
will force transparency and accountability in the president's Syria policy,”
said Rep. Yoho (FL-03).
View the War Powers
Protection Act of 2013 in its entirety here.