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Daily Action: Demand Congressional Authorization Before Trump Strikes Syria Again

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000
Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Steve Knight:
DC: (202) 225-1956
Simi Valley: (805) 581-7130

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Senator/Representative ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to urge the senator/congressperson to insist upon a congressional authorization vote before the Trump administration launches any more airstrikes or military incursions in Syria. Congress, and not the President, holds the authority to determine if and when the United States goes to war. It is Congress’ responsibility to determine whether Trump’s belligerence and volatility can be trusted, or to stop him from escalating this conflict and dragging us into another open-ended and disastrous war in the Middle East. Thank you!

While everyone agrees that Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people is an atrocity that necessitates some form of response from the free world, the effectiveness of Trump's airstrikes against Syria last Friday night is questionable -- and so is the legality of those strikes. Though Trump crowed "Mission Accomplished!" in a tweet, it's unclear precisely what the "mission" was: a onetime assault on chemical-weapons facilities, or part of a broader plan? In either case, Trump acted without congressional authorization, without explanation of his legal justification, and with no apparent strategy for what happens next. And his claims of humanitarian concern for Syria’s civilians ring hollow when Trump has done nothing but turn his back on Assad’s victims, continuing his bigoted ban on refugees and so far accepting only 11 of them from Syria this year.

Whether or not a one-off "proportional response" to Assad's use of chemical weapons was a prudent, effective, and legal choice, Congress must act to check Trump's potential abuse of his authority should he decide to go further. It should insist on its sole authority to authorize military force, and demand that Trump come to Congress before any further strikes. Meanwhile, Congress must denounce Trump’s bigoted Muslim and refugee bans, and call on the Administration to immediately resettle more Syrian refugees.

Instead of "leading" with displays of military force, Trump should be engaging international partners to seek a diplomatic and political solution to end Syria’s suffering.