Rep. Garamendi: Possible Military Action in Syria Needs a Debate and Vote in Congress
WALNUT GROVE, CA – As the Administration signals that a strike in Syria is likely imminent, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today urged Congressional leadership to end the August recess and call Congress back into session to address this urgent matter. Garamendi authored a provision in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) making clear that the legislation did not provide an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for military action in Syria. This provision was incorporated into the FY 2014 NDAA, which was passed by the House of Representatives.
“There is no greater decision we can make than the decision to go to war. The American people elected 535 representatives to Congress to vote on issues of war and peace. With the Administration signaling that war is likely imminent, we must return to Washington to debate intervention in Syria. Before we rush to war, we need a full hearing and a real debate. We need a vote,” Garamendi said.
On Wednesday, Garamendi coauthored bipartisan letters with Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) to the President and House leadership calling for “Congressional authorization before ordering the use of military force in Syria.” Rep. Garamendi is also a signatory to the letter on Syria authored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Garamendi added, “When Prime Minister David Cameron asked British Parliament to support an intervention in Syria, they rejected his call for war. I don’t know where Congress will come down on war in Syria, but I do know the American people deserve to find out. The legislative branch is a coequal branch of the federal government. Before we send the brave men and women of our military into harm’s way again, Congress must act on its constitutionally-required authority to debate the merits of this war and render a decision with a formal declaration of war vote.”