Representative Massie Introduces Bill to Block Unauthorized U.S. Military Aid to Syrian Rebels
Massie joined by Reps. Amash, Jones, Yoho, Roe, Brooks, Pitts, Meadows, DesJarlais, and Gohmert
WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Massie and nine other House members introduced legislation to block unauthorized U.S. military aid to Syrian rebels.
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 (AL-05).
“The Constitution 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 (MI-03).
“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.