Jul 19, 2018 Issues: Veterans, Armed Services

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), along with constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein; former U.S. Marine Captain Matthew Hoh; President of the DC Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Michael Marceau; and Senior Director at Peace Action, Paul Kawika Martin, hosted a press conference announcing their introduction of H.Res. 922, a resolution that would define presidential wars not declared by Congress as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

“We are here today because Congress has not been meeting its constitutional responsibility for many, many years,” said Congressman Jones. “If Congress does not debate sending your son or daughter to fight for this country, then we don’t need a Congress anyway. Nothing is more sacred or important than sending a man or woman to die for this country.”

Congresswoman Gabbard said: “For decades, Congress has ceded its Constitutional responsibility of deciding whether or not to declare war, to the President. As a result, we have found ourselves in a state of perpetual war, without a declaration of war by Congress and without input from the American people. Since 9/11 alone, our country has spent trillions of dollars on interventionist regime change wars, costing the lives of many Americans, taking a toll on our veterans, and causing people in our communities to struggle and suffer due to a lack of resources. Our bipartisan resolution aims to end presidential wars, and hold Congress accountable so it does its job in making the serious and costly decision about whether or not to send our nation’s sons and daughters to war.”

“No war is worth fighting if the President is unable to convince a majority of House and Senate members to vote for a congressional declaration of war as required by Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution that Members of Congress are obligated, by oath or affirmation, to defend,” said Bruce Fein, constitutional lawyer.

“As someone who has held mothers and young widows at the funerals of their loved ones, someone needs to answer for this loss,” expressed Matthew Hoh, former U.S. Marine Captain. “This isn’t what our Founding Fathers intended - they didn’t want a war that never ends. Instead, we must return accountability to this heartbreak that no one is taking responsibility for.”

“Under the U.S. Constitution it has been the duty of Congress to declare war if they deemed it necessary to do so,” said Michael Marceau, President of DC Area Chapter of Veterans for Peace. “For more than half a century our representatives have relinquished this very important job. This has resulted in many unnecessary military interventions all around the globe, causing untold millions of deaths and injuries, tens of millions of refugees, and destruction and environmental contamination of dozens of countries,” continued Marceau.  “It is time to reverse this course of action by having our members of Congress do the jobs they were elected to do. That is why Veterans For Peace supports H. Res. 922 and urges Congress to take back its assigned responsibilities under the Constitution.  We appreciate the efforts of Representatives Jones and Gabbard and urge all our members to contact their representatives to demand that they cosponsor this resolution.”

“It’s long past time to stop permanent presidential wars; for the Executive Branch to ask for congressional authorization; and for Congress to vote on war as the constitution dictates,” said Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director at Peace Action.  “That’s why we support H. Res. 922, a resolution that warns Presidents that circumventing the constitution and failing to get congressional approval for wars will be considered an impeachable offense.”

Press conference filmed via Facebook Live: @RepWalterBJones or @RepTulsiGabbard

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415