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Oklahoma march opposes a military strike against Syria.

Oklahoma marches in opposition to a military strike against Syria.

As President Barack Obama considers the United States’ response to Syria’s (alleged) chemical attack on civilians, a growing bipartisan coalition in Congress came together today to “strongly urge” congressional approval of military action.

In a letter sent to the president this evening, Rep. Scott Rigell, a second-term Republican from Virginia, joined 97 of his Republican and 18 of his Democratic colleagues in demanding that the president first acquire consent from Congress, citing the War Powers Resolution of 1973, before responding militarily to the Syrian government’s purported use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21.

Here is a full copy of the letter,

followed by the 116 signatures

August 28, 2013

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

Comments     A     A U.S. Rep. Justin Amash talks about Syria: During a visit to Brownstone Coffee Shop in downtown Battle Creek on Wednesday U.S. Rep. Justin Amash talked about Syria. (John Grap/The Enquirer)

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash talks about Syria: During a visit to Brownstone Coffee Shop in downtown Battle Creek on Wednesday U.S. Rep. Justin Amash talked about Syria. (John Grap/The Enquirer)

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.”

'U.S. Hands off Syria' protest in Minneapolis.

‘U.S. Hands off Syria’ protest in Minneapolis.

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)

CNN coverage of Anti-Syrian-Protest in Washington.

CNN coverage of Anti-Syrian-Protest in Washington.

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)

Chicago says "Hands Off of Syria".

Chicago says “Hands Off of Syria”.

Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02)

Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-2)

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)

"Great is the Guilt of Unnecessary War!"

“Great is the Guilt of Unnecessary War!”

Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-03)

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08)

Rep. Bill Posey (FL-8)

Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-04)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11)

Rep. David Roe (TN-01)

Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-01)

Protesters in Washington DC in front of the White House chant, "NO WAR WITH SYRIA!"

Protesters in Washington DC in front of the White House chant, “NO WAR WITH SYRIA!”

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)

Hatem Abudayyeh speaking at Aug. 29 rally against U.S. military attack on Syria. Over 300 people marched and protested in this rally in Chicago.

Hatem Abudayyeh speaking at Aug. 29 Chicago rally against U.S. military attack on Syria. Over 300 people marched and protested.

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)

Opponents of a United States military strike against Syria protest at Times Square in New York City, Saturday, August 31.

Opponents of a United States military strike against Syria protest at Times Square in New York City, Saturday, August 31.

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)

"No U.S. Bombs Against Syria", say Indiana protesters standing in front of the statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“No U.S. Bombs Against Syria”, say Indiana protesters standing in front of the statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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-04)

Rep. Richard Nolan (MN-08)

Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07)

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11)

Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06)

Americans do NOT want military aid given to the Syrian rebels OR military strikes against Syria.

Americans do NOT want military aid given to the Syrian rebels OR military strikes against Syria.

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)

Rep. Robert Hurt (VA-05)

Rep. Steve Southerland, II (FL-2)

"War against Syria is built on a lie" say the protesters in front of the White House.

“War against Syria is built on a lie” say the protesters in front of the White House.

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)

Constituents in INDIANA protesting the United States intervention in Syrian crisis.

Constituents in INDIANA protesting the United States intervention in Syrian crisis.

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)

"Syria, same as Iraq", "U.S., NATO, Hands Off Syria" say the HUNDREDS who turned out to protest at NYC's Times Square last Thursday.

“Syria, same as Iraq”, “U.S., NATO, Hands Off Syria” say the HUNDREDS who turned out to protest at NYC’s Times Square last Thursday.

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)

"Who lied? Who died? Who pays? Who profits?" Americans overwhelmingly do NOT want to bomb Syria.

“Who lied? Who died? Who pays? Who profits?” Americans overwhelmingly do NOT want to bomb Syria.

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)

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