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The following letter was e-mailed from Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) on August 30, 2012 to the White House Legislative Affairs office, and also mailed in hard copy to the White House.
Dear Mr. President:
This letter is written to you out of grave concern that you will once again lead our nation into war without authorization from the Congress. As tensions and rhetoric rise in Syria and Iran, the power to declare war remains vested in the Congress. No resolution from the United Nations or NATO can supersede the power carefully entrusted with the representatives of the American people.
Whether it is Korea, Yugoslavia, or Libya, presidents have continually disregarded the Constitution and sent Americans to war without congressional authorization. In order to prevent further encroachment of executive power, I have introduced House Concurrent Resolution 107. My Resolution states:
“except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress’s exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”
The above simply restates the Constitution. Our founding fathers had the unique perspective of living subject to the wars of choice waged by a King. As James Madison wrote, allowing the President alone to take the country into war would be “too much of a temptation for one man.”
Outside of an actual or imminent attack on America, the only precursor to war can be the authorization of Congress. I call on you to abide by our Constitution, and rely on our country’s representatives to decide when war is necessary. There is no greater responsibility than to send our sons and daughters to war. That responsibility remains with the United States Congress.
Walter B. Jones
Member of Congress
September 25, 2012