Gaetz explains his War Powers vote

In his weekly newsletter. Rep. Matt Gaetz explained his controversial vote in favor of a War Powers resolution. The resolution stated if the White House wants to declare war on Iran, Congress must approve it first. Gaetz said that his vote was based on the Constitution, which gives the power to declare war to Congress.

From his newsletter:

Due to the events that transpired with Iran over the past week, Congress brought a resolution to the floor on Thursday, stating that if the United States was to pursue war with Iran, Congress must approve it first. This is Constitutional, common-sense, and correct.

Our district is the home to more troops than any other member of Congress. 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.

Yesterday, I spoke on the House Floor to explain why I would vote in favor of the resolution:

Click for video!

The Constitution plainly states that it is Congress’s duty to declare war. Yet for decades, Congress has abdicated its duties and given this power to the Executive Branch. Presidents of both parties have taken advantage of Congress’s weakness, and used it to engage in endless, aimless conflicts across the globe.

Despite the hysterics from some in the media, this resolution does not limit the President’s power to defend our Nation, protect our military, or fight terrorism. It does not prevent the President from acting in America’s self-defense. If it had done any of those things, I would not have voted for it.

The President always maintains a legal right to use necessary and proportionate force to defend America and U.S. forces, and the resolution states that fact.

The resolution does not criticize the President, and it does nothinder our military. It simply states that if the situation in Iran escalates, the President must seek Congressional approval before taking military action against Iran.

For years, conservatives lamented that Obama did not seek Congressional approval before sending troops across the world. Before that, Democrats wailed that Bush did the same thing.

I am proud to have voted for this resolution. The Constitution matters, and principles matter.