H CON RES 55 YEA-AND-NAY 17-Jun-2015 4:06 PM
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Resolution
BILL TITLE: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq and Syria
According to Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA):
This resolution calls on the Administration to remove most of U.S. Armed Forces from Iraq and Syria unless Congress votes to authorize additional military action. The Administration recently announced plans to send 450 more U.S. military personnel to Iraq, bringing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to approximately 3,500. Despite this increased activity, Congress has not debated an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Instead the AUMF from 2001 is being used to justify current activities.
The President has a Constitutional obligation to bring this matter before Congress and Congress has a Constitutional obligation to take a vote on it.
Dana Milbank explains:
Four months ago, President Obama sent Congress a proposed “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” for the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — consistent with earlier demands by the House that the president seek just such an authorization.
But nothing happened — until Wednesday, when a quixotic band of lawmakers led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) used a provision in the War Powers Resolution to force a debate and a vote on the House floor on military action in Syria in Iraq. Their proposal — a withdrawal from the region — was acknowledged by supporters to be a “blunt instrument,” but they figured that they could use the threat of an artificial deadline for a withdrawal to force their colleagues in the House to take action on passing a use-of-force authorization.
It won’t be easy to pass a use-of-force resolution. Many Democrats thought Obama’s request too broad, and many Republicans thought it too narrow. But that’s no excuse for inaction.
At Rep. Reed’s “Listening Meeting” in Geneva on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, Reed started the session by praising President Obama for requesting that Congress weigh-in on his decision of having limited strikes in Syria, and Reed feels, “That is the right call according to the Constitution and the War Powers Act.” Yet Congress continues to avoid this issue.