Columbia, S.C. (WCIV) — Congressman Mark Sanford signed onto a letter Friday led by Representatives Justin Amash (R-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) along with 85 other Representatives, requesting that the president seek an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) from Congress before ordering additional military force in Syria.
Rep. Sanford released the following statement:
“Only Congress has the constitutional authority to authorize war efforts, which was a deliberate decision by our Founding Fathers. This check acts as a safeguard to ensure that citizens’ interests are being fully represented in the congressional deliberation and debate of war’s full cost both to the taxpayer and in the loss of life and limb to American soldiers.
It certainly doesn’t pass constitutional muster that we’re using the same AUMF today that was passed seventeen years ago targeting Al Qaeda. I have spoken extensively about this, offering amendments, joining letters, and cosponsoring bills to require the president to get congressional approval before using force in Syria. In fact, when I was previously in Congress, I worked to pass legislation to reinforce Congress’s power to declare war.
It is certainly legitimate to say there is a vital interest in funding operations in Syria, but that debate needs to take place in earnest. I don’t think we should be engaged in war efforts without Congress’ direct approval. This is a congressional responsibility, and each Representative should make the hard decision of whether to put American soldiers in harm’s way.”
For the full letter, click here.