Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has introduced two amendments to the House Defense Appropriations Act that would require Congressional approval for taxpayers' money to be used for "military or paramilitary purposes in Syria and Egypt."
The first amendment, cosponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), would block unauthorized funds for military or paramilitary operations in Syria. The second amendment, cosponsored by Reps. Amash and Yoho, would block the same sort of funds being used for military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.
Press release from Massie's office in full below:
WASHINGTON – Representative Massie offered two amendments to the House Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 2397) requiring congressional authorization to use taxpayer funds for military or paramilitary purposes in Syria and Egypt.
"Since our national security interests in Syria and Egypt are unclear, we risk giving money and military assistance to our enemies," said Rep. Massie. "The Constitution prohibits the President from unilaterally spending American taxpayer dollars on military operations without congressional approval. The American people deserve an open debate and an up-or-down vote by their elected officials on these important issues."
The bipartisan amendment, cosponsored by Reps Schrader (D-OR), Amash (R-MI), Yoho (R-FL), would block unauthorized funding of military or paramilitary operations in Syria. Massie's second amendment, cosponsored by Reps Amash and Yoho, would block unauthorized funding of military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.
Rep. Amash said, "Congress has not authorized force against Syria or Egypt, which the Constitution requires before military action. Once again, the administration is considering unilaterally intervening in foreign wars that the American people want nothing to do with."
Previously, Rep. Massie introduced the War Powers Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2507), a stand-alone bill to block U.S. military aid to Syria without congressional authorization. The bill currently has 13 co-sponsors. His recent bipartisan amendment is part of a legislative strategy to allow debate and a vote on restricting military aid to Syrian rebels in the context of the Defense Appropriations Act. The House is expected to vote on H.R. 2397 before the August recess, but the rules committee has yet to decide whether debate on either of the Massie amendments will be allowed.
Massie introduced a bill that would block military aid being sent to Egypt last month.