Ron Paul
1999 Ron Paul Chapter 13

War Power Authority Should Be Returned To Congress

Home Page   Contents   Congressional Record (Page H1022)  Cached

9 March 1999
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 19, 1999, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.

1999 Ron Paul 13:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, the President has stated that should a peace treaty be signed between Serbia and Kosovo he plans to send in at least 4,000 American soldiers as part of a NATO peacekeeping force.

1999 Ron Paul 13:2
We, the Congress, have been informed through a public statement by the President that troops will be sent. We have not been asked to act in a constitutional fashion to grant the President permission to act. He is not coming to us to fully explain his intentions. The President is making a public statement as to his intentions and we are expected to acquiesce, to go along with the funding, and not even debate the issue, just as we are doing in Iraq.

1999 Ron Paul 13:3
That is not a proper constitutional procedure and it should be condemned. Silence in the past, while accommodating our Presidents in all forms of foreign adventurism from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Bosnia, should not be the standard the Congress follows.

1999 Ron Paul 13:4
The Constitution is clear: Our Presidents, from Washington to Roosevelt, all knew that initiating war was clearly the prerogative of the Congress, but our memories are flawed and our reading of the law is careless. The President should not be telling us what he plans to do, he should be giving us information and asking our advice. We are responsible for the safety of our troops, how taxpayers’ dollars are spent, the security of our Nation, and especially the process whereby our Nation commits itself to war.

1999 Ron Paul 13:5
Citing NATO agreements or U.N. resolutions as authority for moving troops into war zones should alert us all to the degree to which the rule of law has been undermined. The President has no war power, only the Congress has that. When one person can initiate war, by its definition, a republic no longer exists.

1999 Ron Paul 13:6
The war power, taken from the Congress 50 years ago, must be restored. If not, the conclusion must be that the Constitution of the United States can and has been amended by presidential fiat or treaty, both excluding the House of Representatives from performing its duty to the American people in preventing casual and illegal wars.

1999 Ron Paul 13:7
Some claim that the Kosovo involvement must be clarified as to where the money will come to finance it, the surplus or Social Security. This misses the point. We have and should exert the power of the purse, but a political argument over surpluses versus Social Security is hardly the issue.

1999 Ron Paul 13:8
Others have said that support should be withheld until an exit strategy is clearly laid out. But the debate should not be over the exit strategy. It is the entry process that counts.

1999 Ron Paul 13:9
The war powers process was set early on by our Presidents in dealing with the North African pirates in the early 19th century. Jefferson and Madison, on no less than 10 occasions, got Congress to pass legislation endorsing each military step taken. It has clearly been since World War II that our Presidents have assumed power not granted to them by the Constitution, and Congress has been negligent in doing little to stop this usurpation.

1999 Ron Paul 13:10
In the case of Kosovo, no troops should be sent without the consent of Congress. Vague discussion about whether or not the money will come out of Social Security or the budget surplus or call for an exit strategy will not suffice. If the war power is taken from the President and returned to the Congress, we would then automatically know the funds would have to be appropriated and the exit strategy would be easy: when we win the war.

1999 Ron Paul 13:11
Vague police actions authorized by the United Nations or NATO, and implemented by the President without congressional approval, invites disasters with perpetual foreign military entanglements. The concept of national sovereignty and the rule of law must be respected or there is no purpose for the Constitution.

1999 Ron Paul 13:7 Ungrammatical Some claim that the Kosovo involvement must be clarified as to where the money will come to finance it probably should be Some claim that the Kosovo involvement must be clarified as to whence the money will come to finance it.

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