Trump Says He Can Strike Iran Without Congressional Approval. Justin Amash and the Constitution Disagree.
Amid escalating tensions with Iran, President Donald Trump said on Monday that he does not need to seek congressional approval before carrying out a military strike.
“I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn’t have to do that,” Trump said in an exchange with The Hill. According to Trump, “most people seem to disagree” with the notion that military action against Iran would require congressional oversight.
Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), who has recently called for Trump’s impeachment, is one who does, in fact, believe that the Constitution grants Congress, and Congress alone, the power to declare war.
Constitution: Wrong. https://t.co/ywophIcF0X
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 25, 2019
The president’s aggression against Iran intensified after the country shot down an unmanned U.S. drone on Thursday. In response, Trump approved and then called off a planned strike against the country that would have killed an estimated 150 Iranians. On Twitter, he explained that such retaliation was “not proportionate” to the damage inflicted by Iran.
While Amash lauded that decision, he did so with caution. “Glad the president pulled back from striking Iran but still waiting on the administration to make its case to Congress,” he tweeted. “Once strikes begin, the administration cannot guarantee things will not spiral out of control. We must do everything possible to prevent another reckless war.”
This isn’t the first time that the libertarian-leaning congressman has spoken out against unauthorized foreign wars. When President Barack Obama ordered the bombing of ISIS targets in Syria in 2014, for example, Amash lamented the complete absence of congressional oversight. The absence of any “debating & voting on war,” Amash said, is “irresponsible & immoral.”
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