Jones Introduces HCR40: Initiating Syrian War Without Congress Is "Impeachable"
June 25, 2013 • 10:22AM

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On Thursday, June 20, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40 prohibiting the use of war power against Syria by the Executive branch without congressional authorization.


Rep. Jones press conference on executive usurpation, December 2012.

In a press release issued the following day, Jones stated, “We cannot continue to spend American money and risk American lives overseas without a vote of approval from Congress." He continued, "For too long, the legislature’s responsibility to authorize military force has been overlooked. It is time that we uphold the Constitution, which makes it clear in Article 1, Section 8 that Congress alone holds the power to declare war. A breach of that principle by the president would unquestionably be considered an impeachable offense.”

The text of the resolution reads as follows:

H. CON. RES. 40 Expressing the sense of Congress that the President is prohibited under the Constitution from initiating war against Syria without express congressional authorization and the appropriation of funds for the express purpose of waging such a war.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 20, 2013

Mr. JONES submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of Congress that the President is prohibited under the Constitution from initiating war against Syria without express congressional authorization and the appropriation of funds for the express purpose of waging such a war.

Whereas the Constitution's makers entrusted decisions to initiate offensive warfare not in self-defense exclusively to Congress in article I, section 8, clause 11;

Whereas the Constitution's makers knew that the Executive Branch would be prone to manufacture danger and to deceive Congress and the United States people to justify gratuitous wars to aggrandize executive power;

Whereas chronic wars are irreconcilable with liberty, a separation of powers, and the rule of law;

Whereas the entry of the United States Armed Forces into the ongoing war in Syria to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad would make the United States less safe by awakening new enemies;

Whereas the fate of Syria is irrelevant to the security and welfare of the United States and its citizens and is not worth risking the life of a single member of the United States Armed Forces;

Whereas humanitarian wars are a contradiction in terms and characteristically lead to semi-anarchy and chaos, as in Somalia and Libya;

Whereas if victorious, the hydra-headed Syrian insurgency would suppress the Christian population or other minorities as has been similarly witnessed in Iraq with its Shiite-dominated government; and

Whereas United States military aid to the Syrian insurgents risks blowback indistinguishable from the military assistance provided to the splintered Afghan mujahideen in Afghanistan to oppose the Soviet Union and culminated in the 9/11 abominations: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that— (1) the President is prohibited under the Constitution from the offensive use of the United States Armed Forces in Syria without prior express authorization by an Act of Congress or without a prior express appropriation of funds for that purpose by an Act of Congress; and (2) the President's defiance of those constitutional limitations on his authority to initiate war would constitute an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

H. Con. Res. 40.pdf