Congressman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) took to social media Thursday night to set the record straight after some users accused him of being too hard on President Trump.
It all started when Amash pointed out that only Congress has the authority to declare war according to Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution. This prohibits the president “from commencing offensive military action without approval.” Amash was seemingly referring to the situation in North Korea, and he posted similarly-themed tweets when Trump used air strikes without congressional approval.
“No, War Powers Resolution does not allow president to launch offensive strikes w/o congressional approval,” Amash tweeted in April.
One user asked Amash why he did not criticize executive abuses of power under President Obama.
Amash responded by linking to five separate tweets in which he criticized Obama for abuse of power.
Amash has been consistent in his criticisms of both former President Obama and President Trump, routinely drawing attention to their use of executive overreach.
“War Powers Res does not allow president to take *offensive* military action without congressional approval. People routinely ignore §2(c),” Amash tweeted Friday morning.
Amash criticized Obama in 2011 after he failed to seek congressional approval for military operations in Libya. “The undeniable conclusion is that the president is breaking the law by continuing the unilateral offensive war against Libya,” Amash said.
That same year, Amash introduced bipartisan legislation that demanded Obama cease his aggression against Libya.
“The War Powers Resolution (WPR), enacted at the end of the Vietnam War, places that 60-day time limit on the executive when Congress has not authorized military action,” Amash said. “In fact, the administration has been violating the WPR from the moment the first bomb dropped on Libya. The WPR allows the president to launch an attack without Congress’ approval only in self-defense. Even administration officials recognize our involvement in Libya is offensive, although, they claim, justified by a broad humanitarian concern.”
“Not one young soldier will come home tonight, when the 60-day deadline for President Obama to terminate force in Libya passes,” he also stated.
Amash’s record clearly shows that he has been critical of executive overreach since the day he entered office, regardless of which party occupied the White House.