Calls For Biden’s Arrest After Yemen Strikes Without Congress Approval

HomeWARCalls For Biden's Arrest After Yemen Strikes Without Congress Approval

Biden Faces Backlash from Democrats Over Airstrikes in Yemen Without Congressional Approval

Washington, D.C. – Tensions are brewing between the White House and Congressional Democrats over President Biden’s decision to order airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen without seeking approval from lawmakers. The unilateral military action has drawn sharp rebuke from prominent Democrats, who argue it violates the Constitution and the War Powers Act.

The airstrikes on January 11 targeted Houthi installations and weapon systems, aiming to disrupt the Iran-backed group’s capabilities to conduct further attacks. The bombings came in response to Houthi drone and missile strikes on vessels in the Red Sea, a critical global shipping route. While the Biden administration defended the strikes as protecting free commerce and deterring future assaults, many Democrats insisted the president overstepped his authority.

Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war, leading critics to allege Biden’s failure to consult lawmakers made the Yemen operation illegal and unconstitutional. House Democrats were especially vocal, with influential members like Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Cori Bush demanding adherence to legislative approval requirements.

Khanna Denounces Action as ‘Unconstitutional’

As head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal called the airstrikes an “unacceptable violation of the Constitution,” stressing Article I mandates Congress authorize any military action. She argued the administration cannot unilaterally involve the U.S. in overseas conflicts without legislative assent.

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Rep. Val Hoyle joined in asserting the Constitution makes Congress the sole authority for greenlighting military engagements abroad. She insisted reporting requirements are no substitute for express Congressional authorization.

Rep. Mark Pocan raised concerns about entanglement in prolonged Middle East turmoil without input from Congress. He pressed the White House to collaborate with lawmakers before further strikes in Yemen.

Rep. Cori Bush went further, branding the bombing “illegal” and imploring Biden to halt the campaign. She tapped into public war-weariness, advocating against diverting more taxpayer money toward military action.

The criticism crossed partisan lines, with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) also tweeting that “Congress has the authority to declare war, not the president.” She called on Biden to provide a legal justification for the strikes.

Debate Over War Powers Act Compliance

Lawmakers additionally accused Biden of violating the War Powers Resolution, passed in 1973 to check executive authority over military operations. The act compels presidents to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces and withdraw after 60 days without authorization.

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While the White House submitted a formal report on the Yemen strikes within the deadline, critics say this statutory notice is no substitute for express approval beforehand. Khanna asserted section 2(c) unequivocally requires authorization prior to introducing U.S. forces into hostilities, unless responding to an imminent threat.

The administration maintains its actions are fully consistent with War Powers Resolution requirements. A senior official emphasized the limited scope of strikes targeting Houthi logistics and weapons infrastructure, while avoiding civilian casualties or escalation. They described the action as retaliatory and focused on deterrence.

On January 13, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reinforced the strikes complied with the president’s constitutional authority to defend national interests. She stressed Biden is committed to avoiding large-scale military campaigns in the Middle East.

Escalating Yemen Conflict Amid Reelection Campaign

The Yemen airstrikes mark a significant shift amid escalating Houthi aggression in the Red Sea. The action follows intensified warnings from the Biden administration after repeated missile and drone attacks on vessels over recent months.

CNN reported reluctance to get entangled in the region gave way to pressure to reestablish deterrence. The move also comes as the president gears up for reelection in 2024, already facing GOP critiques of his global leadership.

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Leading Republican presidential candidates, including Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, recently blasted perceived Biden delays in protecting U.S. forces and assets abroad. The Yemen strikes implicitly counter accusations of hesitant responses to security threats.

While affirming U.S. commitment to safe passage for international shipping, Biden risks pushback from Democrats and his base. Critics say the unilateral action undermines his authority and Democratic efforts to reassert Congress’ war powers.

The bombings may also complicate negotiations with Iran over restoring the nuclear deal and addressing regional tensions. As talks stall, hardliners in Tehran could retaliate and cite Biden’s Yemen strikes to justify escalation.

Despite pledging to avoid Middle East quagmires, Biden faces growing pressure to curb Houthi attacks threatening global commerce. The constitutionality debate will likely intensify if the administration pursues follow-on strikes absent congressional approval. For now, Biden appears ready to exercise military force to counter regional threats, regardless of objections from within his own party.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a seasoned basketball journalist with a passion for the WNBA and NBA. His insightful writing combines commentary and stats, providing comprehensive coverage. Alee sheds light on the overlooked WNBA while championing its players. He also delivers in-depth NBA analysis, offering unique perspectives on trades, drafts, and league dynamics. With exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access, Alee gives readers an unparalleled look into the lives of basketball's biggest stars.

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