Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

With Latest Attack on Syria, Pingree Continues Push for Congressional Approval

Apr 14, 2018
Press Release

After last night’s air strikes against Syria, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree continues pushing for Congressional approval before further military action.

“While I believe that Assad’s heinous chemical attacks on his own people should not go unpunished, I am concerned that President Trump has once again taken military action without the consent of Congress,” Pingree said. "The President’s remarks imply that this may not be the last military action his Administration takes, but as of yet Congress has yet to hear a definitive strategy for preventing Assad from using chemical weapons on his people again in the future. Getting fully involved in another Middle East conflict absolutely demands Congressional approval, which is why I have long pushed for a new Authorized Use of Military Force to be brought to a vote and continue to do so.”

"We also cannot ignore that there is a desperate humanitarian crisis in Syria,” Pingree continued. "We need to not only work with our allies to foster stability in the region to bring an end to the refugee crisis, but also step up our own commitment to providing aid and relief to those affected.” 

Yesterday, Pingree joined a bipartisan letter to the President signed by 88 Members of Congress to demand the consultation and approval of Congress before military action against Syria. She has signed similar letters in the past, including during the Obama Administration.  

The letter is online here and the text is below. 

Dear Mr. President, 

We write to you as a bipartisan group of colleagues with a shared concern, as we did with the prior administration in 2013 and again in a letter to you last May. We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering additional 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.
 
We stand ready to consider the facts before us and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.