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Rep. Walter Jones Urges Boehner To Schedule ISIS War Vote in November

Sept. 30, 2014 (EIRNS)—Last Friday, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, calling for a debate and a vote on an authorization to expand military force in Iraq and Syria, not now, but when Congress reconvenes for its lame duck session in November. Today, Jones issued the following statement:

“Congress must uphold its constitutional duty to authorize the use of our military, said Congressman Jones. The commencement of US airstrikes in Syria this week adds more urgency to the grave situation in Iraq and Syria. I urge Speaker Boehner to call a debate and a vote on an authorization regarding Iraq and Syria when Congress reconvenes in November. We should not wait until 2015 to have a full debate on this pressing issue when Americans are already spending between $7 million and $10 million a day on missiles in that region. Congress needs to determine whether we want to engage in a potential perpetual war, not President Obama.

“In July, Congressman Jones introduced H. Con. Res. 105 to prohibit the deployment of U.S. armed forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without congressional authorization. The resolution passed with 370 votes.

“In August, Congressman Jones, Congressman McGovern, and Congresswoman Lee formed a bipartisan coalition to urge the House Foreign Relations Committee to draft an authorization regarding Iraq and Syria. They also urged Speaker Boehner to bring up the authorization for a debate and a vote before Congress recessed at the end of September.”

In his letter to Boehner, Jones said,

“Those of us in both parties who believe in the Constitution, believe that Congress must debate and declare war. As James Madison wrote, “THE POWER TO DECLARE WAR, INCLUDING THE POWER OF JUDGING THE CAUSES OF WAR, IS FULLY AND EXCLUSIVELY VESTED IN THE LEGISLATURE [emphasis in the original].”

He noted that the Pentagon has confirmed that the airstrikes are costing between $7 million and $10 million a day.

“We need to have this debate sooner rather than later,” he concluded. “The American people are asking for Congress to fulfill its constitutional obligation as it relates to war.”

Media reports note that last week Boehner said a lame duck Congress should not be voting on the war, then this past Sunday said that he would schedule a vote if Obama sent a request. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who has recently said that Obama already has the authority he needs, nonetheless said, “Everybody in the country’s talking about [the war], except for us,” and, therefore, Boehner should schedule a debate on it.