Merkley Seeks Justification for U.S. Airstrike Order in Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley—a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—released the following statement today after President Biden ordered a retaliatory airstrike in Syria late yesterday that targeted a site used by Iranian-backed militia groups:

“Any order for an attack undertaken by our armed forces must be given with clear authority and explanation. Our Constitution gives war making powers to Congress, not the President. I urge the administration to provide Congress and the American people with a clear justification as to whether this strike was necessary to protect against an imminent threat, and why lawmakers were not consulted. Going forward, I also expect the administration to engage constructively with Congress on matters of war and peace, including a serious effort to repeal decades-old authorizations for the use of military force and replace them with narrower and more specific frameworks that respect the constitutionally-required congressional responsibility to declare war.”