Bi-Partisan Group of 89 Representatives Sign Onto the Lee-Rigell Letter Warning Obama That Constitution Requires Congressional Authorization Before Military Action in Iraq
Call Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121, Urge Your Representative to Join Them
As pressure grows on the Obama Administration to intervene militarily in Iraq, counter-veiling voices are urgently needed.
Most recently, Rep. Barbara Lee joined with Republican Representative Scott Rigell in circulating a letter to the President encouraging diplomacy and insisting that any use of military force in Iraq must be debated and authorized by Congress. This letter is now re-opened for signers.
Text of the letter and list of 89 signers areincluded below. If your member of Congress is not signed on, call their office and urge them to sign.
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
If the answer is “no” or “unclear” ask for an explanation. Send along any feedback to Carolyn.Eisenberg@hofstra.edu
Letter: “Respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize.”
Dear Mr. President
We join you and with those in the international community who are expressing grave concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq over the last days and weeks. The consequences of this development are particularly troubling given the extraordinary loss of American lives and expenditure of funds over ten years that was claimed to be necessary to bring democracy, stability and a respect for human rights to Iraq.
We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a “quick” and “easy” military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq. We also appreciate your acknowledgement that this conflict requires a political solution, and that military action alone cannot successfully lead to a resolution.
We do not believe any such intervention could be either quick or easy. And, we doubt it would be effective in meeting either humanitarian or strategic goals, and we are certain that it could very well be counter-productive. This is a moment for urgent consultations and engagement with all parties in the region who could bring about a cease fire and launch a dialogue that could lead to a reconciliation of the conflict that is spreading like a conflagration through the region.
Any solution to this complex political crisis can only be achieved through such an effort, and nothing short of that can successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region and only if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population.
As you consider options for U.S. intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad.
The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize. Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action would contribute to ending this most recent violence, create a climate for political stability, and protect civilians from greater harm.
We stand ready to work with you to this end.
John J. Duncan Jr.
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr.
Joseph P. Kennedy III
Ann McLane Kuster
John. B. Larson
Sheila Jackson Lee
James P. Moran
Richard P. Nolan
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Scott E. Rigell
Robert C. “Bobby” Scott