barack-obama-constitutionOne wonders if Barack Obama lends an ear to anything Congress says. I mean, after all, they aren’t threatening impeachment. They don’t even consider it worthwhile. So what’s to keep Obama from continuing to violate the Constitution without any ramifications? However a group of 116 congressmen, including Democrats, joined Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) in calling on Obama to come to Congress to honor the Constitution and receive authorization from them in order to use the US military in Syria.

In a letter dated August 28, 2013, the congressmen wrote, “We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”

Rigell had called for the same thing last year when the geographic area Obama was dealing with was Libya. He also opposed the strikes there.

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“This is not personal to the president. It’s not saying that some type of action isn’t warranted. That’s not the point. The point is it must be collaborative and deliberative,” Rigell said.

While Rigell said that the administration calling congressional leaders and other key lawmakers “is helpful,” he added, “But that is not an acceptable substitute whatsoever to engaging the institution itself.”

“I am not calling for us to come into session unless the president is on the cusp of saying, ‘Look, this has got to be done, and it has to be done in a timely manner.’ If he’s at that point, absolutely, I don’t care where members are, if they’re on the opposite side of the world,” he said. “We’re talking about the engagement of U.S. forces.”

The only question I have for these congressmen, who I do think are doing the right thing, is “What are the ramifications if Barack Obama gives you the finger, like he did with Libya and continues to launch a strike in Syria?” If your answer is “nothing,” then why are you even writing the letter? If your letter has no teeth in it, why should he even pay you any attention? I suggest you find a way to deal with him and do it fast, for the sake of our children and countless innocents in that region.

Below is the letter with signatures and you can download a copy here.


August 28, 2013

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active engagement of Congress – prior to committing U.S. military assets. Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.” In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:

“…President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.”

We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional. If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute “hostilities,” what does?

If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.


Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-02)

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05)

Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05)

Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05)

Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04)

Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10)

Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-01)

Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17)

Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02)

Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-02)

Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03)

Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-01)

Rep. Joseph Pitts (PA-16)

Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08)

Rep. John Campbell (CA-45)

Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)

Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)

Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-03)

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08)

Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08)

Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-04)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11)

Rep. David Roe (TN-01)

Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-01)

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN-02)

Rep. Reid Ribble (WI-08)

Rep. James Lankford (OK-05)

Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-06)

Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN-08)

Rep. Trey Radel (FL-19)

Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)

Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03)

Rep. David McKinley (WV-01)

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)

Rep. Joseph Heck (NV-03)

Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15)

Rep. Billy Long (MO-07)

Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14)

Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04)

Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-03)

Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09)

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-08)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04)

Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5)

Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)

Rep. William Enyart (IL-12)

Rep. Timothy Walz (MN-01)

Rep. Christopher Gibson (NY-19)

Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-04)

Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10)

Rep. Michael Capuano (MA-07)

Rep. Michael Simpson (ID-02)

Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10)

Rep. Thomas E. Petri (WI-06)

Rep. Robert Pittenger (NC-09)

Rep. Walter Jones (NC-03)

Rep. Tom Latham (IA-03)

Rep. Richard Nolan (MN-08)

Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07)

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11)

Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06)

Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07)

Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01)

Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-09)

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)

Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02)

Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)

Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02)

Rep. Sam Farr (CA-20)

Rep. Steve Daines (MT-At Large)

Rep. Robert Hurt (VA-05)

Rep. Steve Southerland, II (FL-2)

Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-06)

Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04)

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

Rep. Robert Wittman (VA-01)

Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18)

Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06)

Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-4)

Rep. David Loebsack (IA-02)

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)

Rep. Sam Johnson (TX-03)

Rep. Tom Price (GA-06)

Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11)

Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10)

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02)

Rep. Steve Stockman (TX-36)

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (WI-05)

Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27)

Rep. Diane Black (TN-06)

Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-10)

Rep. Peter Welch (VT)

Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11)

Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18)

Rep. Gregg Harper (MS-03)

Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04)

Rep. Ted S. Yoho (FL-03)

Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)

Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26)

Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-04)

Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04)

Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)

Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08)

Rep. Charles Fleischmann (TN-03)

Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)

Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7)

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.