In the wake of President Biden’s bombing of eastern Syria, some members of Congress are speaking out and questioning the legality of the move, including Biden’s fellow Democrats.
“We cannot stand up for Congressional authorization before military strikes only when there is a Republican president,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). “The administration should have sought Congressional authorization here. We need to work to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said the airstrikes were “unacceptable” and questioned the authorization. “Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action,” he said.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said Biden’s bombing was unconstitutional. “Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances,” he said. “Congress must be fully briefed on this matter expeditiously.”
While many Republicans applauded Biden’s airstrike, some spoke out against it, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
“I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority,” Senator Paul wrote on Twitter. “What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria?”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Congress would be fully briefed on the bombing next week. “The Department of Defense briefed Congressional leadership before the action last night. The Administration has been briefing the Hill at the Member- and staff-level today. There will be a full classified briefing early next week at the latest,” she said.
The Biden administration targeted Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada in Syria, Iraqi militias the US claims were responsible for recent rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq, although no evidence has been presented to back up the claim.