WASHINGTON — The following statement was issued on June 23 by Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Taskforce Co-Chairs Reps. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Santa Rosa) and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.):
“The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Taskforce call on Congress and the President to immediately end our war in Libya. The U.S. has been engaged in hostilities for over 90 days without congressional approval, which undermines not only the powers of the legislative branch but also the legal checks and balances put in place nearly 40 years ago to avoid abuse by any single branch of government.
“We call on our colleagues in Congress to exercise their legitimate authority and oversight and immediately block any funding for this war. Before the executive branch further weakens the War Powers Resolution, and before we attack another country in the name of our “responsibility to protect,” we must recommit ourselves to our constitutional duty and obligation to hold the purse strings and the right to declare war.
“For decades, the House recognized the need for appropriate checks and balances before another war was waged. We must do the same.
“We call on Congress to exhibit similar foresight by promptly ending this war and pledging to uphold the laws that characterize America’s commitment to democratic governance.”
On June 21, Honda joined Reps. Lee, John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in leading a bipartisan congressional delegation that sent a letter to President Obama urging a major withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“We urge a significant and sizable reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan beginning July 2011,” the members of Congress wrote. “With Osama bin Laden killed and Al Qaeda largely driven from Afghanistan, it is time to accelerate the transfer of security responsibilities to the government of Afghanistan and to reduce the U.S. military footprint there.”
In addition to Honda, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus who signed the letter were Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), who succeeded Honda as chairperson, and Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).