Davidson, DeFazio: Congress has authority over Russia-Ukraine conflict

Staff report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Warren Davidson (R-OH) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today led a bipartisan letter to the Biden administration, signed by 43 Members of Congress, urging the president to receive authorization from Congress before involving U.S. armed forces in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“We strongly urge your administration to respect the separation of powers, U.S. law, and Congress’s constitutional war powers authority,” the lawmakers wrote. “Should your administration seek to introduce U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities or decline to remove any U.S. military personnel currently deployed inside Ukraine from unauthorized hostilities or imminent hostilities, Congress stands ready to deliberate over the potentially monumental implications of such scenarios. The American people, through their representatives in Congress, deserve to have a say before U.S. troops are placed in harm’s way or the U.S. becomes involved in yet another foreign conflict.”

The letter to President Biden reasserts the war powers authority vested in Congress under the Constitution and U.S. law, including the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to finance and declare war, and the War Powers Resolution states that Congressional authorization is required before the “introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.”

The lawmakers urge President Biden to make the case to Congress before involving the U.S. military in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The letter has been endorsed by a diverse collection of organizations: Just Foreign Policy, Demand Progress, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Concerned Veterans for America, Common Defense, Peace Action, RootsAction, FreedomWorks, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Heritage Action, and Global Zero.