tv U.S. Senate Sen. Lee on Iran War Powers Resolution CSPAN February 13, 2020 12:51am-1:10am EST
congress and the president have under the constitution to wage war i don't question the motives in trying to find the wappropriate balance but here i think we stepped across the line to try to tie the president's hands as a punishment for conducting a fully authorized operation against one of the world's worst terrorists, something we should applaud. a resolution that would prohibit the united states from conducting offensive military strikes against iran and unless or until such time as congress may authorize. this is how a security policy in the constitutional republic is supposed to work. it's held positions with the source of this to made.
they direct the military as it undertakes the effort to complete the missions. this gives the american people the best of both worlds the deliberative representative legislature to declare war in a single decisive commander-in-chief to lead troops. it's beneficial while giving the greatest opportunity to protect the freedom and liberty in the system of government. the members unfortunately sometimes are inclined whenever possible. the trend sadly gave momentum under presidents i presidents af
representatives and the senate of every conceivable purpose in combination. and now nearly two decades into the multiple war without clear missions or paths to victory it is time for congress to reassert on behalf of constituents the vital constitutional role in american warmaking. before addressing the merits of this particular resolution, let me first spoke to very mistaken assumptions being made about it. first, it is not about president trump to the contrary, it supports president trump in the differential approach one that accepts c the outset but in perpetuity we certainly can't and shouldn't do that without the consent of the american people. and that of their elected representatives in congress.
president trump is the most restrained constitutional commander-in-chief we have had in decades. he's the most restrained constitution minded we have had in my entire lifetime. he is exactly the kind of part or congress needs in order to get the constitutions warmaking process back on the rails the same that were designed in 1787. second, this resolution is not abouton condemning the strike against general soleimani last month. with hundreds of americans and thousands of iraqis and iranians on his hands in his work of
terror confirms he was planning to kill again and to do so soon. with this resolution is about as congress is reclaiming its rightful powers to restore accountability to this post grave of all of the policy positions we as members of congress were asked to make. hearing the troops when things go well and attacking the president when they don't. but they are not just political in some cable news shows. we have a job to do based on an oath that we took right here in this chamber to uphold and protect and defend the
constitution of the united states. we have to be willing to do ours and this is part of the evil design of the military-industrial complex. members of congress first and foremost that they don't have to and shouldn't want. from the representatives here and the house of representatives from a process from their own sons and daughters on the line. that is not right. they couldn't have been more clear about this. it is true when it comes to the greatest number of them all.
president george washington carefully can find military onerations to exclusively defensive measures. the constitution, washington road, vests the power of declaring war with congress therefore no offense if expedition of importance can be undertaken until afte after thee innovated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. george washington was a humble man and artist. one of my favorite paintings in entire building can be found in the capitol rotunda where you see george washington painting his commission back to the congress he's the most
well-known person in the westere hemisphere in the entire world and this is a moment any other land and at any point in world history george washington was in a position to become the king he chose not to be. he was a humble man and modest man, but this wasn't just an act of humility. he understood he had taken an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states and he would not derail from it because he had taken an oath that he would. under the constitution is drafting president washington washington_before he was president of the united states while he was president of the
constitutional convention and to which he sworewh an oath of offe the power of the direct war reside in as a guest commander-in-chief, the power to declare war exclusively resided with congress. this was of course very different than the form of government that we have left just a few years prior to that. in the previous government to one based in the parliament had no role in declaring the war. declaring war was up to the executive, the monarch of the king and did take the country to war. it was the job of the legislative branch of government, the parliament to figure out what to do about it and where to go from there but it was up tog the king and the king alone. this, alexander hamilton explained was exactly the kind f of system we did not want.
it would be up to congress in the first instance to declare war. congress and congress alone would have this power because it is the branch of government accountable with the regular intervals. when the american people are called upon to put their sons and daughters on the line in the name of safety, security and freedom, nothing else can suffice but a vote in congress. ..
>> have taken to the streets to protest their own government knowing that such action could lead to injury or imprisonment or death even the new york times has admitted the iranian regime that confronts the united states there could be a pathway to peace and prosperity through sanctions and relief and trade their willing to see support for militant organizations and abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons of icbm. until then, the united states
under president trump's leadership will maintain maximum pressure through sanctions and defend the us from any further attacks progressed in firmly behind president trump in this faction and then to avoid war if we can after nearly two decades of military entanglement by the department of defense bureaucrats to mislead the american people as we tragically learned the last thing we need is another protracted conflict in the middle east another last thing we need is to have such a conflict oh current without even congress authorizing it. in any event it is neither warranted or consistent with strategic interest. to be very clear, under this
resolution the president would retain all of his authority as commander-in-chief to take defensive measures against acts of aggression from persons and assets against the homeland including armed forces abroad diplomats and embassies even without the use of authorization of military force. to reside in article two he already has that power. nothing can or attempts to erode that power even when defensive measures are conducted, the administration should share that evidence without one - - with congress this is with inherent tension hewith power from article one
and on the other hand that the power the president has with commander-in-chief with that information. sharing process to be ongoing with a separate branch of government with a constitutional prerogative with the power to declare war not required to accept the talking points has a meter - - a matter of faith after almost two decades in afghanistan it ensures congress to appropriatelyou determine if it should or should not provide the administration with further authority to conduct offensive military force. thet intelligence so far shared taken against iran has fallen short but the briefing that i
call the worst i ever witnessed on military matters in my more than nine years in the senate we were given no indication that any offensive action would occur with consultation and authorization of congress this was inexcusable. not the president's approach not something that s would have occurred in the president's presence because this is not how donald trump operates. that briefing was not the fault of the president but those who decided to go off on a d tour of theirse own. worst of all in a briefing it was suggested engaging in public debate or discussion and deliberation d about further military actions in iran in
other words precisely what we are doing right here and right now would empower our enemies and undermine the morale of men and women overseas. mr. president this is as false asni insulting and demeaning to the constitutional framework to which we each sworn oath into our form of government. exercise with accountability to the people with checks and balances of precisely what makes the united states strong. so to avoid responsibility and subvert is what empowers the enemies and undermines the morale of our nation. to send them into harm's way
yet again is on us. but to decide and stand accountable for so of course at the end of a very public debate that requires not only our attention but contribution and ultimately our name has to be on the line if we cover up those to stand in harm's way. for too long congress has deliberately in a cowardly manner shrunk from its constitutional responsibility for its own narrow selfish and shallow political interest. by taking a self out of the process to declare war and debating congress has taken the american people out of the process and that is simply unacceptable. it's time to turn the page. osama bin laden is dead so are
the 9/11 terrorist. general qassem soleimani is dead iran is weakened and isolated. saddam hussein is dead and has been out of power for a generation, and iraq is a sovereign nation that can and should dictate its own course. riwe now face new challenges and our priorities have rightfully changed and they must. well this resolution speaks only to offensive action against iran i believe it repeals the 2002 aumf to bring the troops home in iraq also time to repeal the 2001 aumf to bring the troops in afghanistan home. that is a question that we can snd should address in this body but in the meantime we as a body and a nation should agree there is no justification for further use
of military force or a declaration of war by congress. this is consistent with the president's desire to keep us out it is consistent with the vision of our founding fathers by requiring express consent from the bicameral legislature and with the conviction the american people who sons and daughters lay down their lives to defend us get a say in the matter president trump wants to make america great again and i stand with him the military-industrialan complex once you make america great again i stand against that making america great britain again would keep the legislative branch out of power