Eighty Members of Congress Send Letter to Obama, "Don't Send Our Troops Anywhere, Without Talking To Us First."
July 4, 2014 • 10:35AM

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA), along with 80 other members of Congress, issued a letter to President Obama on July 2, 2014, calling for Congressional authorization before ordering any military action in Iraq. The press release available on Rep. Lee's website reminds its readers, "last August, Congresswoman Lee and Congressman Rigell led independent letters calling on the President to consult with Congress before taking military action in Syria. In a sign of bipartisanship, the two joined together in leading today's letter on the use of military force in Iraq."

The letter to Obama was published on the same day reports estimate that now almost 1,000 troops have been deployed to Iraq to "secure the U.S. embassy" and to "advise Iraqi security forces."

The press release quotes Rep. Rigell saying, "I share a deep concern over the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq in recent weeks. However, engaging our military forces at this time 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."

The letter concludes by saying, "As you consider options for U.S. intervention, we write to urge respect for the constitutional requirements for using force abroad. The Constitution vests in Congress the power and responsibility to authorize offensive military action abroad. The use of military force in Iraq is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize."

Rep. Lee was the only member of Congress in 2001 to vote "No" to the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, warning the Congress then to be "careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target."

Below are signers of the letter to Obama, the deadline to sign was July 1, 2014.

Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
James Moran (D-VA)
Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Betty McCollum (D-MN)
John Garamendi (D-CA)
Rick Nolan (D-MN)
Beto O'Rourke (D-TX)
Katherine Clark (D-MA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
George Miller (D-CA)
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Julia Brownley (D-CA)
Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY)
Chris Gibson (R-NY)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
John Duncan (R-TN)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
Bobby Scott (D-VA)
Alan Grayson (D-FL)
Jim Himes (D-CT)
Michael Michaud (D-ME)
John Larson (D-CT)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
Karen Bass (D-CA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY)
Andre Carson (D-IN)
Gloria McLeod (D-CA)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Ann Kuster (D-NH)
Justin Amash (R-MI)
Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Mike Capuano (D-MA)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)
Lois Frankel (D-FL)
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Stephen Lynch (D-MA)