Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of three Republicans to vote with Democrats to approve the war powers resolution on Jan. 9, defended his decision.
“Killing Terrorist Soleimani was the right call. Ending the spilling of patriotic blood and American treasure in the Middle East will be even better. I know our President wants to wind down these undeclared, unconstitutional, unfocused wars,” Gaetz said in a statement on Thursday.
On the House floor before the vote, Gaetz told lawmakers: “I take a backseat to no member of this body when it comes to defending the president. This resolution offers no criticism of the president, no critique, it doesnt criticize the presidents attack on Soleimani. Matter of fact, this resolution doesnt even say Soleimanis name in it!”
“Yet it does articulate our very robust basis for self-defense, at times even preemptory self-defense to defend our troops, and it also articulates our non-delegable duty as members of the United States Congress to speak to matters of war and peace.”
I represent more troops than any other member of this body. I buried one of them earlier today at Arlington.
If our servicemembers have the courage to fight and die in these wars, Congress ought to have the courage to vote for or against them.
Im voting for this resolution. pic.twitter.com/cSCBG7CmIm
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 9, 2020
“I think its ludicrous to suggest that we are impairing the troops from doing their job by not doing our job articulated in the Constitution,” he added.
Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) also outlined why they voted for the non-binding resolution.
“If we go to war, it needs to be with the blessing and the support of the people and a clear mission that our soldiers can accomplish. We do that by following the vision of our founding fathers—we debate it on the floor of the House,” Massie said on the House floor.
Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a former GOP member and the only Independent in the House, also voted with Democrats.
Under the Constitution, only Congress has the authority and power to declare war, a responsibility I take seriously. (1/3) https://t.co/Dug5reX0bX
— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) January 10, 2020
Thirteen members missed the 224-194 vote; eight Democrats voted against the resolution: Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), KendRead More – Source