This news was released on March 24, 2001 -- the second anniversary of Clinton's War On Yugoslavia:House bill would ban wars begun by presidents, restoring Congress's power under Constitution
In the wake of President George W. Bush's attack on Iraq, another Texas Republican, Rep. Ron Paul, has introduced a measure in the House of Representatives "to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution that Congress and not the president has the power to declare war."
The Paul bill, HJR 27, would forbid a president to send armed forces abroad into hostilities or imminent hostilities without a congressional declaration of war, unless the U.S. were attacked. Replacing the War Powers Resolution of 1973, it would bar funds for unlawful war activity and facilitate lawsuits to enjoin unlawful actions.
Rep. Paul is seeking cosponsors, both Republican and Democratic. He says members of the public can help by urging their representatives to cosponsor House Joint Resolution 27, called the "Constitutional War Powers Resolution of 2001."
The bill, in essence, was proposed by the War and Law League (WALL), based in San Francisco, whose web site is at WarandLaw.homestead.com. Three years old this month, it is a nonpartisan, national organization that upholds the Constitution in war matters, opposing any foreign military action initiated by a president and not first authorized by Congress.
WALL calls the idea of a presidential right to make war a false doctrine that began with President Truman in 1950 when he launched three years of fighting in Korea. It was adopted by Presidents Johnson and Nixon, who warred in Indochina; Reagan in Latin America and Mideast; Bush sr. in Panama and Persian Gulf; and Clinton in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and six other countries. WALL says presidential wars have killed millions, including 113,000 Americans.
When Clinton bombed Yugoslavia in 1999, WALL sent letters to all 435 House members and 100 senators, urging them to assert their exclusive right to decide if the U.S. goes to war. WALL recently sent petitions to Bush and others, calling his bombing of Iraq unconstitutional.
Rep. Paul called unconstitutional wars the "gravest of crimes," after Clinton's 1998 attack on Iraq. Paul found the action to be, like the Korea and Vietnam wars, "in direct contradiction to the U.S. Constitution ... It is commonly, but incorrectly, assumed that a president has the authority to send troops into battle." Until Congress reclaims its "sole authority over matters of war ... more young men will die senseless deaths." ("Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk," Internet, 12-21-98.)
Paul, a physician, introduced the war bill the night of March 6, along with three other bills in a "Constitutional Restoration Package." One would stop presidents from using executive orders instead of legislation. A similar bill of his had over 40 cosponsors last session. Two other bills would nullify any treaty that contradicts the Constitution and declare the U.S. a constitutionally limited republic. #