To: Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9)
.@AlanGrayson: Press NatSec Nominees to Respect Congressional War Powers
Pledge that as Senator, you'll insist nominees for Secretary of Defense or State testify under oath they'll respect the Constitutional role of Congress in authorizing the use of military force as a condition of their confirmation.
Why is this important?
In August 2013, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson was a vocal opponent of plans to bomb the Syrian government. Those plans were blocked by bipartisan Congressional opposition, invoking the power of Congress to authorize - or not authorize - the use of military force according to the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Instead, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry negotiated a diplomatic agreement with Russia that avoided war.
Now Alan Grayson is running for Senate. If elected to the Senate, Grayson would participate in confirmation hearings for the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State. Under current Senate rules, any Senator can place a hold on a nomination or attempt to lead a filibuster against it. That gives individual Senators tremendous leverage to insist on answers from Administration nominees, such as when Senator Rand Paul used the nomination of John Brennan to insist that the Administration clarify its claims concerning its authority to target U.S. citizens with drone strikes.
Alan Grayson should publicly pledge that if elected to the Senate, he'll oppose confirmation of any national security nominee unless they affirm under oath that they will respect the Constitutional role of Congress in authorizing the use of force. Specifically, unless they pledge under oath that they will not support, advocate, or participate in any military action in Syria against Russian, Iranian, or Syrian government forces, unless that action is 1) in immediate self-defense against direct armed attack on U.S. forces or imminent threat of direct armed attack on U.S. forces or 2) such action has been explicitly authorized by the U.S. Congress. Lying to Congress under oath is a serious federal crime; people have been prosecuted for it in the past.
Urge Representative Grayson to make this pledge to hold national security nominees accountable to the Constitution by signing our petition.