Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said Friday she was concerned about the White House’s “legal rationale” for launching airstrikes in Syria a day earlier without congressional approval, Fox News informed.
“We in Congress have congressional oversight in engaging in war and we haven’t been briefed yet and we have not authorized war in Syria,” Omar told CNN.
Omar had retweeted a resurfaced 2017 post from now-White House press secretary Jen Psaki that had questioned the Trump administration’s “legal authority” for conducting airstrikes against the “sovereign” country at the time.
“Great question,” Omar responded to the four-year-old tweet in light of the Biden administration’s military action announced Thursday.
“Her question was important when it was a different administration and that question still remains with this administration,” Omar told CNN’s John King. “Our ability to engage in constitutional actions does not diminish when the party in power is ours.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the strike, including Republican Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C.; Jim Banks, R-Ind.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.; and Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; and Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; and Tim Kaine, D-Va.
“While the President has a responsibility to defend the people of the United States, our Constitution is clear that it is the Congress, not the President, who has the authority to declare war,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement Friday, adding in a tweet he was “very concerned by last night’s strike by U.S. forces in Syria.”
The first known military action of the Biden administration was meant as a defense “shot across the bow” against an Iranian-backed militia stronghold in Syria, a senior official said, intended to deter Iran and its militia from launching rockets at U.S. forces in the region.