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1999 Ron Paul Chapter 5

President Should Get Authority From Congress To Send Troops

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9 February 1999


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL) is recognized for 5 minutes.

1999 Ron Paul 5:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, since World War II, our presidents have been sending troops overseas without Congressional approval. Prior to World War II, it was traditional and constitutional that all presidents came to the Congress for authority to send troops.

1999 Ron Paul 5:2
Recently, the President has announced that he will most likely be sending thousands of American troops under NATO command to Kosovo. I think this is wrong. I have introduced legislation today that says that the President cannot send these troops without Congressional approval, merely restating what the Constitution says and how we followed the rules up until World War II.

1999 Ron Paul 5:3
Three years ago, the President sent troops into Bosnia and said they would be there for 6 months. They have been there now 3 years. We have spent over $20 billion. Nobody even asks hardly at all anymore when these troops will be coming home.

1999 Ron Paul 5:4
We have been bombing and interfering with the security of Iraq for now over 8 years, and that continues, and we do not give Congressional approval of these acts. My legislation is simple. It just denies funding for sending troops into Kosovo without Congressional approval.

1999 Ron Paul 5:5
This is not complicated. It is very precise and very clear and very important that we as a Congress restate our constitutional obligation to supervise the sending of troops around the world.

1999 Ron Paul 5:6
It would be much better for us to spend this money that is being wasted in Bosnia and Iraq on our national defense. We spend less and less money every year on national defense but we spend more and more money on policing the world. I think that policy ought to change and it is the responsibility of the Congress, the body that has control of the purse strings, to do something about this.

1999 Ron Paul 5:7
If the President is permitted to do this, he does it not because he has constitutional authority but because the Congress has reneged on their responsibility to supervise the spending.

1999 Ron Paul 5:8
It is a bit ironic now that we are sending or planning to send troops to Kosovo. We have all read about and heard the horrible stories about the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, and yet our troops going to Kosovo are going to be sent with the intention that Kosovo cannot be independent; that they will not be able to separate themselves from Serbia; that they cannot decide under what government they want to live.

1999 Ron Paul 5:9
It is also interesting that one of the jobs of the troops in NATO, if they go into Kosovo, will be to disarm the Kosovo Liberation Army. That is hardly good sense. First, it is not good sense for us to give the permission or renege on our responsibility, but it does not make good sense to get involved in a war that has been going on for many years, but it certainly does not make good sense for us to go in for the sole purpose of supporting Milosevic. He is the one that has been bombing the Kosovars and here we are, we want to disarm the liberation forces and at the same time prevent Kosovo from becoming independent.

1999 Ron Paul 5:10
The issue here is money, but there is also a bigger issue and that is the responsibility that we have to decide when troops should be sent. Once troops are sent into a foreign country, it is very difficult for us to bring our troops home.

1999 Ron Paul 5:11
Troops in Kosovo will not serve the interests of the United States. They will not help our national security. It will drain funds that should be spent on national defense. At the same time it will jeopardize our national security by endangering our troops and raising the possibility of us becoming involved in a war spreading through the Balkans. This should not occur.

1999 Ron Paul 5:12
So, Mr. Speaker, I am asking my fellow colleagues to join me in cosponsoring this legislation just to say that it is not the prerogative of the President to send troops around the world whenever he pleases. That is the prerogative of the Congress.

1999 Ron Paul 5:13
I do know that it has not been stated this clearly in the last 40 years, but it is about time we did. And besides, one thing more, the President has admitted, at least it has been in print, that he is likely to place these troops under a foreign commander, under a British general.

1999 Ron Paul 5:14
Mr. Speaker, we do not need this. We need to restrain the President’s ability to send troops.
Note:

1999 Ron Paul 5:11 the possibility of us becoming involved in a war probably should be the possibility of our becoming involved in a war.

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