80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.
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.
“While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active approval of Congress – prior to committing U.S. military assets,” said Congressman Rigell. “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.”
“Our Constitution empowers only Congress to make war. Any military action and alternatives should be fully debated, by Congress, to give the American people a voice in matters of war and peace,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “This bipartisan letter shows that Members of Congress, from both parties, are working together to end blank checks for endless war and restore Congressional oversight over matters of war.”
The letter reads: “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.”
The full letter can be found here.
Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter at @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, as well as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the CPC Peace and Security Task Force.
Original Presss Release
On Saturday, October 20, First Congressional District candidate Lesli Messinger visited Pin Point, Georgia and talked with locals about her candidacy and to listen to what issues those citizens believe are important.
Messinger has traveled through her congressional district for months since her qualifying back in late May and has touted a strong progressive message and has been able to build grassroots coalitions.
Progressive Democrats say Congrats to U.S. Congressional GA District 1 Primary Winner Lesli Messinger. Lesli Messinger has claimed the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Tuesday beating Nathan Russo in the Democratic Primary. Unofficial results showed Messinger with 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Russo with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.
Democrat Lesli Messinger seeks to end 20 years of Republican domination in coastal Georgia. It’s a particularly difficult challenge to unseat an incumbent, and harder still for a Democrat in a Congressional District that’s been Republican-ruled for 20 years.
State Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, has endorsed Lesli Messinger for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.
Messinger, a Savannah businesswoman, is running against Nathan Russo, a retired St. Simons businessman, in Tuesday’s primary.
The winner will face Republican incumbent Jack Kingston, who is seeking a 10th term. Last year’s boundary changes left the district with a GOP tilt, but less pronounced than in the past.
The endorsement apparently is intended to buttress Messinger’s claim to be a stauncher Democrat than Russo and a loyal supporter of President Barack Obama.
Russo has argued that, to beat Kingston in the district, a Democrat must make a strong appeal to many independents and at least some Republicans.
Stephens prefaces his statement by saying he’s “a lifelong member of the Democratic Party for over 30 years.”
“Not only does Mrs. Messinger have fresh new ideas that I feel truly represent the people of our district, and the state of Georgia,” he said. “She is a proud supporter of President Obama’s policies. I know Messinger will stand with President Obama in Congress, on a true Democratic front with other members of Congress.”
Lesli Messinger moved to Skidaway Island four years ago, she says, to escape the “dark and dreary” environs of New Jersey. But Messinger says she found darkness and dreariness near the tranquil community where she and her husband, Nathan, relocated. She says she met women who couldn’t afford cookies for their grandchildren and people whose jobless benefits were expiring.