WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is sending a message to presidents that they must obey the Constitution or prepare for impeachment. The resolution he is pushing deals with war powers and authorization. The congressman is hoping to reopen a dialogue that has long been controversial.
Rep. Jones (R-NC) says the human and financial cost of war has been way too high for Americans.
“If you don’t advocate issues, then the American people don’t know what you’re trying to do for them,” said Jones.
Jones says a president going to war without Congressional consent is unconstitutional. His House Resolution 922 is bringing a harsh consequence to the table.
“If the executive branch bypasses Congress to send young men and women to die in a war, then I think that Congress should have the option of considering impeachment,” said Jones.
Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. The last time Congress declared war was to enter World War II. Since then the U.S. has continually engaged in military operations. Jones says his efforts are not directed specifically at President Trump, though he disapproves of the president’s decision to fire 59 tomahawk missiles on Syria in 2017.
“If you want to lead the nation, you need to look to a higher authority for guidance,” said Jones.
Jones understands his resolution has little chance of going anywhere on Capitol Hill. He says Congress is dead. A Constitutional law expert says bringing impeachment into the conversation is what will kill Jones’ effort.
“Don’t do it on impeachment grounds. It’s a convenient but not very useful label,” said Alan Morrison, associate dean at the George Washington University Law School.
Morrison agrees Congress needs to address the issue, but says getting all sides together to take back control of war powers isn’t likely.
“Congress is not dealing with hard issues and this is a hard issue,” said Morrison.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is the one colleague signed onto the resolution as of now. The White House was unavailable for comment on their efforts.