Define Unconstitutional Yemen War as Impeachable Offense
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North Carolina Republican Walter Jones and Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard have introduced H.Res. 922, a bipartisan resolution which states explicitly that initiating wars without explicit prior congressional authorization constitutes impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” within the meaning of Article II, section 4 of the Constitution.
Unconstitutional war is already an impeachable offense; an impeachable offense is whatever the House says it is, just as an unauthorized “war” constitutes "hostilities" under the War Powers Resolution if the House or Senate says it does. But the Jones-Gabbard resolution would make explicit that unconstitutional war is an impeachable offense, improving the prospects for calling the question in the House on unconstitutional war in the future.
The bill explicitly states that unauthorized co-belligerency in a war, such as the ongoing, unauthorized U.S. co-belligerency in the famine-producing Saudi war in Yemen, is prohibited. The bill explicitly states that the U.S. becomes a co-belligerent if it "systematically or substantially supplies war materials" to a belligerent.
The bill states: “This resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the President from making the United States a co-belligerent in an ongoing war without a congressional declaration under the Declare War Clause. For purposes of this section, the United States becomes a co-belligerent if it systematically or substantially supplies war materials, military troops, trainers, or advisers, military intelligence, financial support or their equivalent in association, cooperation, assistance, or common cause with another belligerent.”
Under House rules and precedents, impeachment resolutions raise a question of the House’s constitutional privileges, and that makes them eligible for expedited floor consideration. Thus, the Jones-Gabbard bill would improve the ability of House members to force floor votes on unauthorized wars such as unauthorized U.S. co-belligerency in the famine-producing Saudi war in Yemen.
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