Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Nolan Joins Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Calling on the President to Obtain Authorization from Congress Before Ordering any Additional U.S. Military Action in Syria

Sep 17, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today joined a bipartisan group of 48 lawmakers strongly urging the President to obtain authorization from Congress before ordering any additional U.S. military strikes in Syria.

The letter sent by lawmakers cites concerns of recent reports indicating that the President’s Administration is preparing to again strike Syria in the event of another chemical weapon attack.

“This would be a tragic and costly mistake, both in blood and treasury,” Nolan said. “Fighting fire with fire has proven to only make matters worse in Syria. The only practical solution is diplomacy.”

The letter follows the 17th anniversary of the passage of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on September 14, 2001. According to an unclassified Congressional Research Service Report, the 2001 AUMF has since been referenced as justification at least 41 times in 19 countries throughout the world.

Nolan and other lawmakers noted that “the Constitution gives the power to declare war to the U.S. Congress and only permits the President to act in self-defense, not simply to further perceived U.S. interests. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 also requires the President to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress prior to the use of offensive military force.”

The letter went on to say:

“We understand that Syria is on the brink of another violent escalation that will exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian disaster and loss of innocent lives. In addition to lacking authorization, previous U.S. military action in response to the April 2017 and 2018 chemical weapons attacks has not contributed to ending the bloodshed in Syria. Only a political and diplomatic solution can end the war and potentially avoid additional massive casualties.”

The full text of the letter is below.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to strongly urge you to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress before ordering any additional U.S. military action in Syria. We are deeply concerned by recent reports indicating that your administration is preparing to again strike Syria in the event of another chemical weapons attack. The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the U.S. Congress and only permits the President to act in self-defense, not simply to further perceived U.S. interests. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 also requires the President to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress prior to the use of offensive military force.

We understand that Syria is on the brink of another violent escalation that will exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian disaster and loss of innocent lives. In addition to lacking authorization, previous U.S. military action in response to the April 2017 and 2018 chemical weapons attacks has not contributed to ending the bloodshed in Syria. Only a political and diplomatic solution can end the war and potentially avoid additional massive casualties.

Accordingly, we urge you to act on your September 4 statement that commits "to find a lasting diplomatic solution to resolve the hostilities in Syria," and we again urge you to act in accordance with the Constitution and obtain authorization from Congress before taking any further military action.