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Congressman John Conyers

Representing the 13th District of Michigan

CONYERS: TRUMP MUST COME TO CONGRESS ON SYRIA

April 7, 2017
Press Release
The House Must Reconvene Immediately and Debate the Use of Military Force

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, following a chemical attack on civilians attributed to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, United States military forces launched a missile strike on a Syrian airbase.  Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, issued the following statement in response:

“There is no question that the United States must do more to relieve the suffering of the civilians trapped in Syria’s civil war. 

“But before we can debate the wisdom of a single unilateral strike on a Syrian air field, President Trump must answer a number of threshold answers:

“First, what is the legal basis for the President’s military intervention in Syria?  The President is bound by the U.S. Constitution, the War Powers Resolution, and the international laws of armed conflict—but Congress has never authorized military action against the Assad regime, and the President took this action without approval by the United Nations or any claim of self-defense.

“Second, what is the President’s plan for Syria going forward?  For years, Donald Trump warned President Obama not to get involved in Syria.  The central theme of his campaign was ‘America First.’ He is not empowered to commit our troops to a new war on a whim, however brutal the actions of President Assad.

“Finally, how does President Trump reconcile this action with the other policies of his Administration?  Like the President, I am haunted by the images of the children who have been murdered in this civil war.  Like many of my colleagues, I wonder if the President understands that the refugees he hopes to ban from entry to the United States seek shelter from the same conflict. 

“I join with Leader Pelosi in her request to reconvene the House immediately to demand answers to these questions.”