Text: H.Res.922 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/06/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[H. Res. 922 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. RES. 922

 Defining presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, 
section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable ``high crimes 
 and misdemeanors'' within the meaning of Article II, section 4 of the 
 Constitution and defining the meanings of war and cobelligerency for 
     purposes of the Declare War Clause and Impeachment provisions.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              June 6, 2018

    Mr. Jones (for himself and Ms. Gabbard) submitted the following 
    resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Defining presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, 
section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause) as impeachable ``high crimes 
 and misdemeanors'' within the meaning of Article II, section 4 of the 
 Constitution and defining the meanings of war and cobelligerency for 
     purposes of the Declare War Clause and Impeachment provisions.

Whereas presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, 
        clause 11 are the most flagrant and dangerous of presidential 
        usurpations;
Whereas President George Washington, who had presided over the Constitutional 
        Convention and supported the Declare War Clause, elaborated during his 
        service in office: ``The Constitution vests the power of declaring war 
        with Congress; therefore, no offensive expedition of importance can be 
        undertaken until after they have deliberated on the subject and 
        authorized such a measure.'';
Whereas presidential wars saddle the people with multi-trillion dollar 
        indebtedness, diverts national genius from production to destruction, 
        cripples liberty, silences the law, awakens enemies, and provokes 
        blowback in the United States;
Whereas the absence of impeachment standards creates an appearance that 
        impeachment is a partisan exercise, which undermines its legitimacy and 
        deters its use;
Whereas the absence of definitions of war and co-belligerency for purposes of 
        the Declare War Clause undermines its enforcement through the 
        impeachment process or otherwise;
Whereas the law should warn before it strikes;
Whereas Article I, section 2, clause 5 provides that, ``The House of 
        Representatives . . . shall have the sole Power of Impeachment'';
Whereas the impeachment power of the House of Representatives is a cornerstone 
        safeguard against Presidential tyranny;
Whereas the past neglect of the House of Representatives to use the impeachment 
        power against Presidential usurpations and lawlessness has concentrated 
        alarming power in the executive branch, crippled liberty, undermined 
        transparency, and encouraged Presidents to further aggrandizements;
Whereas Article II, section 4 of the Constitution provides that, ``The 
        President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, 
        shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, 
        Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors'';
Whereas the Constitutional Convention rejected ``neglect of duty'' or 
        ``maladministration'' as impeachment standards in favor of ``high crimes 
        and misdemeanors'' because the former terms were too broad;
Whereas impeachable ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' has an objective meaning 
        based on the intent of the Constitution's framers and British 
        impeachment precedents;
Whereas Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65 explained that impeachable offenses 
        ``proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from 
        the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which 
        may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate 
        chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself'';
Whereas the House of Representatives has voted articles of impeachment against 
        two Presidents, one Cabinet officer, one Senator, one Supreme Court 
        Justice, and 14 Federal judges without providing a general standard for 
        defining an impeachable offense; and
Whereas every participant in the drafting, debating, and ratifying of the 
        Constitution understood that the Declare War Clause prohibited 
        presidential wars and entrusted exclusively to Congress the solemn 
        responsibility for deciding whether the Nation should cross the Rubicon 
        from a state of peace to a state of war: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved,

SECTION 1. DEFINING PRESIDENTIAL WARS AS IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES.

    The House of Representatives declares the following Presidential 
actions shall constitute impeachable ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' 
within the meaning of Article II, section 4, which will cause the House 
to vote an article or articles of impeachment to send to the Senate for 
trial:
            Initiating wars against state or non-state actors without 
        prior congressional declarations under Article I, section 8, 
        clause 11 (Declare War Clause) by which Congress itself decides 
        to take the United States from a condition of peace to a 
        condition of war against an identified enemy.

SEC. 2. DEFINING PRESIDENTIAL WARS.

    Nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the 
President from responding with proportionate military force in the 
exercise of national self-defense to actual or imminent aggression or a 
declaration of war against the United States.

SEC. 3. CO-BELLIGERNCY.

    This resolution shall be interpreted to prohibit the President from 
making the United States a co-belligerent in an ongoing war without a 
congressional declaration under the Declare War Clause. For purposes of 
this section, the United States becomes a co-belligerent if it 
systematically or substantially supplies war materials, military 
troops, trainers, or advisers, military intelligence, financial support 
or their equivalent in association, cooperation, assistance, or common 
cause with another belligerent.

SEC. 4. NON-EXCLUSIVITY.

    This Resolution shall not be interpreted to preclude the House of 
Representatives from concluding that other presidential actions 
constitute impeachable ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' within the 
meaning of Article II, section 4 either by supplemental resolutions or 
by ad hoc determinations.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Resolution shall take effect upon passage by the House of 
Representatives.
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