Given its gridlock on so many issues, voting more than 39 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act – more than 39 times!!!-, not passing any… (any!!!) laws in its entire session, given the debt ceiling madness which led to the drop in the American credit rating, given its failure to reach an agreement on a national budget resulting in the furlough of 4,000 FAA workers and 70,000 airport construction workers because of its legislative hemming and hawing, and given its obvious reticence towards working cooperatively with this President for whatever partisan (or racial) reasons involved, all of which have given it (ironically) the well-earned reputation of being the worst assemblage in history, does this 113th session of the US Congress even have a right to weigh in on whether or not President Obama should conduct a military strike on Syria?
The answer, not too surprising when you actually adhere to The War Powers Resolution of 1973 is, “Yes”. And if one were to agree with each President since then who have claimed The War Powers Resolution unconstitutional, then wouldn’t we have to rely on the US Constitution itself for guidance in such a matter? Isn’t it Congress that is supposed to have the power to declare war, provide the funding, and support the armed services? I thought the war powers were divided.
Unless the United States is in clear and present peril, the President should never be able to declare war on any sovereign nation without the explicit approval of Congress.
I got to watch the UK Parliament today, which after blasting UK Prime Minister David Cameron with an array logical arguments and verbal imagery to invoke the horrors of Iraq, outright rejected a proposal for any military action in Syria.
As I watched, I could not help but notice the irony of how the British were executing more of the Democratic principle in their House of Commons than their counterparts The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives – who are actually not in session right now .
In the House of Commons, they debated. They argued. They represented their constituents, and they said, “No”.
Our Congress, also with the lowest approval rating in history, could not and would not do this for two main reasons.
1. It doesn’t represent the common people anymore as much as it represents special interest groups.
2. It is afraid to make any political decision that may return and bite it in its collective butt.
You and I both know that Americans don’t want this attack on Syria. Americans want jobs. Americans want their families fed, and their children to be able to go to good schools and universities, things that would probably be happening right now had we not emptied our National coiffures on the campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan. But Congress is not going to go with what the people want. Suppose attacking Syria turns out to be a political success (strongly doubt it) and members had expressed their strong opposition against it? Then those member who voted against it would then be vulnerable come the next round of elections.
So, this 112th session of the US Congress does have a right to weigh in on whether or not President Obama should conduct a military strike on Syria. They have the legal right to veto or vote in favor of it, per the United States Constitution. But given, all they have failed to do so far, do we really expect them to do anything? Given how the relationship between our Congress and President Obama has played out, why would we even expect him to seek their approval?
Written By: D. Draeko