SALT LAKE CITY – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement calling for Congress to take up S. 409, the Military Humanitarian Operations Act which he and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced earlier this year:
"Since the U.S. cruise missile strikes against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria last week, President Trump and several senior administration officials have indicated that the United States may be prompted to act again in retaliation to other attacks against civilians or for broader humanitarian purposes.
We are all angered by the pictures and stories from Syria in recent years, and the desire to retaliate for these unfathomable attacks is understandable. However, over the past 200 years, the separate and distinct roles of the executive and the legislative branches to declare war, launch military attacks, and defend against or retaliate for an attack against the United States have become blurred.
To help clarify and ensure that military force is used appropriately, Senator Rand Paul and I introduced S. 409, the Military Humanitarian Operations Act. It states any military operations conducted to fulfill a humanitarian purpose where hostilities are anticipated must be authorized by Congress.
While such operations and interventions are well intentioned, recent history has shown they are often risky and may result in unintended consequences that are detrimental to our national security. They should only be undertaken after serious consideration and approval by the elected representatives of the American people, ensuring that public accountability on war-making decisions exists.
In light of the developments over the past week, I call on the Senate to take up and pass S. 409 and for President Trump to work with Congress to achieve consensus on national security policies as called for in the Constitution.”
Full text of the bill can be found here.