There is no reason for the United States of America to remain in [that country]. The American people want them home, I believe the majority of Congress wants them home, and to set an artificial date of March 31 or even February 1, in my view, is not acceptable. The criteria should be to bring them home as rapidly and safely as possible, an evolution which I think could be completed in a matter of weeks.
Our continued military presence in [that country] allows another situation to arise which could then lead to the wounding, killing or capture of American fighting men and women. We should do all in our power to avoid that.
I listened carefully to the President's remarks at a news conference that he held earlier today. I heard nothing in his discussion of the issue that would persuade me that further U.S. military involvement in the area is necessary. In fact, his remarks have persuaded me more profoundly that we should leave and leave soon.
Dates certain, Mr. President, are not the criteria here. What is the criteria and what should be the criteria is our immediate, orderly withdrawal from [that country]. And if we do not do that and other Americans die, other Americans are wounded, other Americans are captured because we stay too long--longer than necessary--then I would say that the responsibilities for that lie with the Congress of the United States who did not exercise their authority under the Constitution of the United States and mandate that they be brought home quickly and safely as possible. . . .
It is past time for the Congress to come to grips with this sorry spectacle and force the administration to find a way out of the quagmire--And this?
As a matter of fact, while we are at it, it is high time we reviewed the War Powers Act, which, in the judgment of this Senator, should never have been passed in the first place. The sole constitutional authority to declare war rests, according to our Founding Fathers, right here in the Congress of the United States, and not on Pennsylvania Avenue. I voted against the War Powers Act. If it were to come up again today, I would vote against it. I have never regretted my opposition to it.These were all Republican Senators (McCain, Thurmond, and Helms) - they just happened to be speaking about a Democratic President. This was 1993 and the issue was Somalia.
So Republicans have no problem seeking to limit the "war powers" of a president, as long as that president is a Democrat.
Fine. Let me say it here: It's past time for the Congress to come to grips with this sorry spectacle in Iraq and force the administration to find a way out of the quagmire. The sole constitutional authority to declare war rests with the Congress. The Congress of the United States has the authority under the Constitution of the United States to mandate that the troops be brought home from Iraq as quickly and as safely as possible.
(A humongous h/t to Unclaimed Territory)