U.S. Congressman Scott Rigell | For Immediate Release
From the Desk of

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
SCOTT RIGELL
2nd District
of Virginia



418 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
T: (202) 225-4215
F: (202) 225-4218


23386 Front Street
Accomac, VA 23301
T: (757) 789-5172
F: (757) 789-5175


4772 Euclid Road, Suite E
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
T: (757) 687-8290
F: (757) 687-8298


1100 Exploration Way, Suite 302 R
Hampton, VA 23666
T: (757) 687-8290
F: (757) 687-8298


Contact: Kaylin Minton
Kaylin.Minton@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4215
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                           


Rigell Leads Bipartisan Effort
Urging President Obama
to Get Congressional Approval
Before Striking Syria


116 Members sign letter
outlining president’s constitutional requirements 

                                                                                     

Washington – Today Congressman Scott Rigell led a bipartisan effort urging President Obama to convene Congress and receive Congressional authorization prior to using military force in Syria, noting that doing otherwise would be unconstitutional.

“I’m grateful and encouraged by the strong, bipartisan support this letter has received,” said Rigell. “It’s a clear indication that this issue is not personal to the president, but rather represents common ground in Congress and a deep respect for the Constitution.”

In a letter signed by 116 Members of Congress (98 Republicans and 18 Democrats), Members expressed disapproval at the president’s intervention in Libya without prior statutory authorization, and said that Congress stood ready to return to session to consider the facts in Syria. The text of the letter and a list of all cosigners is below.  

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(See the letter 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.

Sincerely,

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)


***

Members of the Democratic party are represented in italics


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