Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Republicans and Democrats blast Trump for bombing Syria without legal authority

Republicans and Democrats blast Trump for bombing Syria without legal authority

President Donald Trump was convening a meeting of his national security team Friday as he continued to evaluate a military response to an apparent chemical attack in Syria last weekend. The 1973 War Powers Act requires the President to receive congressional approval for any hostilities lasting longer than 60 days.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is now on an official trip to Peru, reportedly called congressional leaders to notify them military action was going to be taken on Friday night.

"Nadler went on to write, "@realDonaldTrump's actions tonight appear to be unlawful if not unconstitutional".

Several other members of Congress echoed Pelosi's statement calling out Trump for not going to Congress to seek approval.

"These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless", Amash said, adding that the next House speaker who succeeds outgoing Paul Ryan should "reclaim congressional war powers". "@SpeakerRyan has completely abdicated one of his most important responsibilities".

"The last thing I want to see is an AUMF that makes it much more hard for our military to respond to keep us safe, because they have the authority to do that right now", Ryan said.

"What changed? Zero", Swalwell tweeted.

"I fear that when the dust settles this strike will be seen as a weak military response and Assad will have paid a small price for using chemical weapons yet again", Graham said. The Obama administration sought Congressional approval in 2013 to launch strikes on al-Assad's regime after reports it used chemical weapons on civilians but the bill giving authorization never reached the House or Senate floor.

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The same poll also shows that 56% of Americans disapprove of the President's job performance, while 40% approve. Trump earlier this month expressed his desire to get US troops out of Syria, but then agreed to keep troops there in a decision that a senior administration official characterized as reluctant.

"Put simply, the American people need to hear an actual strategy and an actual legal justification", he said.

And Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie ran through a list of questions that had been raised by Trump's action, including "can he strike China, Russia or Britain under the same authority" and "can he bomb Assad's living quarters".

"It's clear that the president has fallen right into a harmful sample of tweeting first and asking questions later, usually basing our most complicated nationwide safety choices on what he is watching on cable information that morning and forcing his employees to scramble to implement coverage in effect", Carbajal, D-Calif., stated.

Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate, had stronger criticism for the president.

'Today it's Syria, but what's going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?'

Trump's Syria policy has contrasted with that of former President Barack Obama, who took no military action against the Syrian government during his time in the White House despite declaring the use of chemical weapons by the regime constituted a "red line" in 2013.

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