Sens. Lee, Paul Urge Pres.-Elect Trump to Include Congress in National Security, Foreign Affairs

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump regarding the importance of rebalancing the relationship between Congress and the Presidency on issues of national security and foreign policy.

The letter addresses the need to require Congressional approval for specific military actions before the President can undertake them in the Middle East, and it encourages president-elect Trump to review and work with Congress in repealing or reforming the 2001 and 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs). The letter also addresses the need for the President to engage with the legislative branch and build consensus with Congress and the American people on important issues to our national security, such as our relationships with Russia and China. 

The letter states, “While members of Congress have disagreements on many domestic and foreign policies, we all agree that the most fundamental duty of the federal government is to protect the safety, security, and freedoms of the American people. The constitutional powers to carry out this duty are shared between the President and Congress so that our military and diplomatic policies are informed by a long-term vision of American interests – forged through the kind of open debate and patient deliberation that is the province of Congress – while remaining flexible enough to respond to threats as they appear.”

“The complexity of the security questions we face as a nation calls for robust debate, prudence, and cooperation,” the letter continues. “The challenges are too great and the risks too high to simply defer to yesterday’s status quo. Now is the time for bold leadership and sober judgment.  You have an opportunity at the beginning of your presidency to help recommit the Executive Branch to preserving this constitutional balance that has always defined our government at its best, and we stand ready to work with your administration toward that end.”

The letter can be found in its entirety here.