War Power Caucus leader demands Biden get congressional approval before military action against Russia

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EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans from the War Powers Caucus are reminding President Biden of Congress’ sole power to declare war as the Biden administration plans to send troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., founder and co-chair of the bipartisan War Powers Caucus, sent a letter to Biden Thursday demanding that he seek congressional approval before taking any offensive military action relating to Russian aggression toward Ukraine, including sending troops into Ukraine.

Rep. Andy Biggs speaks on Capitol Hill on Dec. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/File)

“The Constitution requires Congress to declare war if it determines that offensive military action is in our national security interest,” Biggs said in a statement to Fox News Digital.  “Deploying American troops into what could be a deadly and long-lasting conflict should be taken very seriously and requires congressional approval. President Biden must bring his arguments before Congress so it can exercise its constitutional prerogatives and determine whether a declaration of war is right for America.”

The Biden administration announced it would send 3,000 troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but the U.S. forces would be heading to the NATO countries of Poland, Romania and Germany in the event of any spillover from Russian aggression. 

“The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Wednesday at a briefing with reporters. 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened preparedness, as Biden and his national security officials weighed where to send troops in Eastern Europe to aid Ukraine as part of a broader NATO effort, while Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened incursion.

“These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine,” Kirby said. “They’re going to ensure a robust defense of our NATO allies.”

The letter to Biden, obtained first by Fox News Digital, says the Constitution is clear that only Congress has the power to declare war and Republicans say they are “concerned” Biden may send troops to Ukraine “at the first sign of Russian intrusion.”

Ukraine Letter to Biden by Fox News

“Congress must weigh and determine whether military actions around the world are in the national interest,” the letter states. “If you believe deployment of American troops is a possibility, you must bring your arguments to Congress soon to prevent entering an unconstitutional conflict. Without our consultation and approval, no offensive action can be taken.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The War Powers Caucus is a bipartisan congressional group aimed at reaffirming Congress’s constitutional responsibility on matters of war and peace.  Democrats in the caucus did not sign onto the letter. Joining Biggs on the letter were Republicans Matt Gaetz from Florida and Dan Bishop of North Carolina. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the war powers issue.

Congress is currently pushing sanctions legislation against Russia should it invade Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday the U.S. troop buildup in Eastern Europe did not require congressional action through a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

“I don’t think we need an AUMF for that,” Pelosi said.

“They are a confidence builder for our allies in the region.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

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