Several Democrats on Capitol Hill scolded President Biden Thursday for launching airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen without congressional approval, arguing that the action was unconstitutional.
“The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east (sic) conflict,” Rep. Ro Khanna tweeted. “That is Article I of the Constitution. I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.”
“Section 2C of the War Powers Act is clear: POTUS may only introduce the US into hostilities after Congressional authorization or in a national emergency when the U.S. is under imminent attack,” the California Democrat went on. “Reporting is not a substitute. This is a retaliatory, offensive strike.”
Echoing Khanna, Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) tweeted, “These airstrikes have NOT been authorized by Congress. The Constitution is clear: Congress has the sole authority to authorize military involvement in overseas conflicts. Every president must first come to Congress and ask for military authorization, regardless of party.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the US- and UK-led bombing campaign “an unacceptable violation of the Constitution.”
“Article 1 requires that military action be authorized by Congress,” she further explained.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) expressed his fear that Biden’s action in Yemen could risk the US “getting entangled into another decades-long conflict without Congressional authorization.:
“The White House must work with Congress before continuing these airstrikes in Yemen,” he urged.
Rep. Cori Bush (R-Mo.), a member of the far-left “Squad” of congressional lawmakers, called the airstrikes “illegal” and implored the 81-year-old president to “stop the bombing and do better by us.”
“The people do not want more of our taxpayer dollars going to endless war and the killing of civilians,” she tweeted.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who has previously accused Biden of supporting “genocide” against Palestinians, also condemned the Yemen offensive.
“The American people are tired of endless war,” she tweeted, calling the airstrikes unconstitutional.
The attacks against Yemen come after a series of drone and missile attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis against shipping vessels in the Red Sea.
“The United States carries a special, historic obligation to help protect and defend these arteries of global trade and commerce,” a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.
“And this action falls directly in line with that tradition. That is clearly reflected in both our national security strategy and the national defense strategy. It is a key conviction of the president and it is a commitment that we are prepared to uphold.”