News Release

Key Author of War Powers Resolution: “Attack on Iraq Would Violate Constitution”


The Nation writes: “Left-Right Coalition of 80 House Members Wants Congress to Check and Balance Iraq Intervention.”

PAUL FINDLEY, findley1 at
Available for a limited number of interviews, Findley served as a member of United States House of Representatives for 22 years. He was a key author of the War Powers Resolution and a leader in securing its enactment by overriding the veto of President Richard Nixon. He is also the author of six books. The federal building in Springfield, Ill. is named for him. He said today: “Just as with threats to attack Syria last year, an attack on Iraq and/or Syria today would violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. As with any president, he [President Obama] commits an impeachable offense if he does not follow the Constitution. Some observers misread a section of the War Powers Resolution as giving the president 60 days to make war without a declaration from Congress. The section cited actually limits even war making in the event of an attack upon the United States, its territories, or armed forces, which is not the case in either Iraq or Syria. In my view, a tight rein on presidential war making is more important today than ever before.” Last year Findley wrote the piece “Obama has no Authority to Attack Syria.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Boyle, who has worked with Findley for many years, is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. He said today: “President Obama has now incrementally introduced about 800 U.S. troops armed for combat into Iraq in three stages, each without Congressional authorization, which clearly violates the terms of the War Powers Resolution. This is precisely what the War Powers Resolution was intended to prevent — another incremental military escalation along the lines of the Vietnam War. The Obama administration has also threatened to bomb Syria as well as Iraq, either one of which would violate the War Powers Clause of the Constitution as well as the War Powers Resolution. It is not legitimate for the president — or members of Congress — to make de facto arrangements that violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.”