DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
Sent By:
Sarah.Trister@mail.house.gov

Lieu, Jayapal, Grijalva,
Jones, DeFazio, McGovern, Lofgren, Gabbard, Raskin

Dear Colleagues:

The Trump Administration has escalated U.S. military engagement against forces associated with the Syrian government.  In addition to authorizing missile strikes against the Shayrat
airbase in Syria in April, the U.S. military has engaged in strikes against pro-Assad forces on the ground on May 18, June 6, and June 8, and shot down armed Iranian-made drones in Southern Syria on June 8 and June 20.  Additionally, on June 18 a U.S. fighter
aircraft shot down a Syrian SU-22 bomber south of the Syrian city of Tabqah in Raqqah province, marking the first time the U.S. has downed a manned Syrian aircraft in the course of the Syrian conflict.

Earlier this week the White House released a statement threatening further military action against the Assad regime because the United States suspected that the regime was planning
another chemical weapons attack.

The Trump Administration promised members of Congress in April that it would present a plan for Syria, and to date, the administration has not delivered.  The lack of consultation
with Congress has placed the Trump Administration in a legal predicament, since Congress has not authorized military action against the Syrian regime

The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the United States Congress. It is our responsibility as the elected representatives of the American people to ensure that any military
engagement involving our men and women in uniform is done with the support of Congress, and has a clearly articulated strategy, against a defined target, with a clear purpose that prioritizes the security of the United States.

Please join me in sending an urgent letter to President Trump urging him to articulate a strategy for his actions in Syria and to seek appropriate authorization from Congress for any
further military engagement against the Syrian government.

Due the amount of interest we’re received the deadline is extended to COB July 11th .
To sign on please email Katie Spoerer in my office, at
Katie.Spoerer@mail.house.gov
.

Sincerely,

David N. Cicilline

 

Letter Text

 **Two small changes in
bold**

Dear Mr. President:

We have serious concerns about the escalation of American military action in Syria against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. military reportedly engaged in
strikes against pro-Assad forces on the ground on May 18, June 6, and June 8, and shot down armed Iranian-made drones in Southern Syria on June 8 and June 20.

Additionally, on June 18 a U.S. fighter aircraft shot down a Syrian SU-22 bomber south of the Syrian city of Tabqah in Raqqah province. This was the first time the U.S. has downed
a manned Syrian aircraft in the course of the Syrian conflict.

The constitution and U.S. law under the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. §§ 1541-48) require you to obtain authorization from Congress for the ongoing use of military force.
You must report to Congress within 48 hours of any unauthorized use of force, as you did on April 8, 2017 following the U.S. strikes against the Shayrat airfield in Syria. If you do not receive congressional authorization, you must stop using military force
within 60 days of the initial report. This time limit may be extended for 30 additional days if necessary, only to safely remove forces.

Administration officials have offered differing explanations to legally justify your strikes against the Syrian regime and its associated forces. Therefore, we urgently request that
you submit to Congress within seven calendar days the legal justification for any previous military action against forces associated with the government of Bashar al-Assad.

According to longstanding executive branch interpretations, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (P.L. 107-40) does not provide authority for attacking the Syrian government
or any of its associated forces. Despite the lack of congressional authorization, Congress has not received any reports pursuant to the War Powers Resolution for the strikes that took place between May 18 and June 20. If you intend to continue military action
against the government of Syria or its associated forces, you must present a strategy to Congress and request specific authorization.

The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the United States Congress. It is our responsibility as the elected representatives of the American people to ensure that any military
engagement involving our men and women in uniform is done with the support of Congress, and has a clearly articulated strategy, against a defined target, with a clear purpose that prioritizes the security of the United States.

Our efforts to defeat ISIS
and al-Qaeda are of the utmost importance to American national security. We are concerned that increasing escalation against the government of Bashar al-Assad and its associated forces will embroil the United States military in the devastating
Syrian civil war without any strategy for victory. It is our responsibility to ensure that any decision to engage U.S. troops in military conflict is made with Congress’s constitutionally mandated consent and urge you to act accordingly.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

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