April 7, 2017
Press Release


WashingtonToday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. missile strikes in Syria:

“President Bashar al-Assad’s latest attack on his own people with chemical weapons was heinous and heartbreaking.  The U.S. Constitution, however, does not allow the President to engage in acts of war without authorization from Congress.  Having served on active duty as a JAG, I am well aware of the legal authorities for the use of military force.  President Trump’s unilateral decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at another country’s military—which had not attacked the U.S.—was unconstitutional.”

“In 2001, Congress authorized the President to use military force against nations and terrorists that committed or aided ‘the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.’  In 2002, Congress authorized the President to use military force to defend the U.S. against the ‘threat posed by Iraq’ and to enforce U.N. Resolutions ‘regarding Iraq.’  Neither of those authorizations apply in this case.”

“As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am also deeply disturbed by the whiplash actions of the Trump Administration and the lack of any coherent strategy in Syria.  Last week, the Trump Administration signaled that it was okay with allowing Assad to stay in power, even though Assad had already killed hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and previously used chemical weapons.  Yesterday, the Trump Administration attacked the Assad regime.”

 “In 2013, Assad used chemical weapons in Syria. Donald Trump stated that the President needed ‘Congressional approval’ in order to bomb Syria.  He was right.  I urge Trump to follow his own advice, as well as the Constitution, and stop engaging in unilateral acts of war without Congressional approval.”