Roll Call: 88 Tea Party members of Congress vote for Unrestrained War Powers

The Tea Party movement and the national organizations claiming to represent it have repeatedly asserted the importance of limited government. A number of politicians were elected to Congress in 2010 by surfing atop the wave of Tea Party cries to protect the Constitution. Today, the commitment of those politicians to limited constitutional government was put to the test through a House vote on H.Con.Res. 51.

H. Con. Res. 51 insists that President Barack Obama comply with two mandates of the American law of war as they apply to current military action in Libya. The War Powers Act of 1973 requires the President of the United States to obtain authorization from Congress before making attacks with the military unless the United States has been attacked first. Even if the United States has been attacked (which it wasn’t in the case of Libya) and the President puts the military into action without consulting Congress, the President must obtain congressional authorization within 60 days’ time.

The United States Constitution puts the matter more succinctly in Article I Section 8: the Congress is given the authority to declare war. No other person or body in government — not the Supreme Court, not the President — is the authority to do so anywhere in the Constitution. Anyone who takes the country to war without the Congress agreeing first is acting unconstitutionally, and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

President Barack Obama violated the Constitution broadly and the War Powers Act specifically by taking the U.S. military into war against Libya without a congressional declaration and by not obtaining congressional authorization in the 74 days after the fact. In recognition of these circumstances, H.Con.Res. 51 insists that the President must withdraw the U.S. military from action against Libya as the War Powers Act mandates. A YES vote is a reaffirmation of constitutional standards for government action. A YES vote is a vote to limit and place checks on government power. A NO vote abdicates congressional authority, negates constitutional checks and balances on the power of war, and allows one man to unilaterally wage war in unregulated fashion with the might of the unparalleled United States military behind him. A NO vote is a vote for big, powerful, unrestrained government.

Did members of the House associated with the Tea Party (endorsed by Tea Party Express, endorsed by FreedomWorks or a member of the House Tea Party Caucus) vote for limited government? Or did they vote to allow a tremendous expansion of government power?

According to the roll call, it turns out they did both, but not in equal proportions.

The 54 Tea Party Members of Congress who voted FOR limited government power by voting YES on H.Con.Res. 51:

Rep. Sandy Adams (Republican-FL, District 24)
Rep. Todd Akin (Republican-MO, District 2)
Rep. Justin Amash (Republican-MI, District 3)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (Republican-MN, District 6)
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Republican-MD, District 6)
Rep. Dan Benishek (Republican-MI, District 1)
Rep. Rick Berg (Republican-ND, At Large)
Rep. Mo Brooks (Republican-AL, District 5)
Rep. Paul Broun (Republican-GA, District 10)
Rep. Michael Burgess (Republican-TX, District 26)
Rep. Dan Burton (Republican-IN, District 5)
Rep. David Camp (Republican-MI, District 4)
Rep. John Campbell (Republican-CA, District 48)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (Republican-WV, District 2)
Rep. Bill Cassidy (Republican-LA, District 6)
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Republican-UT, District 3)
Rep. Howard Coble (Republican-NC, District 6)
Rep. Tom Cole (Republican-OK, District 4)
Rep. Sean Duffy (Republican-WI, District 7)
Rep. Jeff Duncan (Republican-SC, District 3)
Rep. Stephen Fincher (Republican-TN, District 8 )
Rep. John Fleming (Republican-LA, District 4)
Rep. Scott Garrett (Republican-NJ, District 5)
Rep. Louis Gohmert (Republican-TX, District 1)
Rep. Paul Gosar (Republican-AZ, District 1)
Rep. Tom Graves (Republican-GA, District 9)
Rep. Frank Guinta (Republican-NH, District 1)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Republican-KS, District 1)
Rep. Bill Huizenga (Republican-MI, District 2)
Rep. Raúl Labrador (Republican-ID, District 1)
Rep. Jeff Landry (Republican-LA, District 3)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Republican-WY, At Large)
Rep. Tom McClintock (Republican-CA, District 4)
Rep. David McKinley (Republican-WV, District 1)
Rep. Candice Miller (Republican-MI, District 10)
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (Republican-SC, District 5)
Rep. Richard Nugent (Republican-FL, District 5)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (Republican-MN, District 3)
Rep. Stevan Pearce (Republican-NM, District 2)
Rep. Ted Poe (Republican-TX, District 2)
Rep. Tom Price (Republican-GA, District 6)
Rep. Reid Ribble (Republican-WI, District 8 )
Rep. Phil Roe (Republican-TN, District 1)
Rep. Dennis Ross (Republican-FL, District 12)
Rep. Edward Royce (Republican-CA, District 40)
Rep. David Schweikert (Republican-AZ, District 5)
Rep. Tim Scott (Republican-SC, District 1)
Rep. Clifford Stearns (Republican-FL, District 6)
Rep. Lee Terry (Republican-NE, District 2)
Rep. Frederick Upton (Republican-MI, District 6)
Rep. Timothy Walberg (Republican-MI, District 7)
Rep. Joe Walsh (Republican-IL, District 8 )
Rep. Allen West (Republican-FL, District 22)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Republican-GA, District 3)

The 88 Tea Party Members of Congress who voted FOR the unrestrained power of the presidency and AGAINST constitutional checks and balances by voting NO on H.Con.Res. 51:

Rep. Robert Aderholt (Republican-AL, District 4)
Rep. Rodney Alexander (Republican-LA, District 5)
Rep. Lou Barletta (Republican-PA, District 11)
Rep. Joe Barton (Republican-TX, District 6)
Rep. Brian Bilbray (Republican-CA, District 50)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (Republican-FL, District 9)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Republican-UT, District 1)
Rep. Diane Black (Republican-TN, District 6)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (Republican-IN, District 8 )
Rep. Ken Calvert (Republican-CA, District 44)
Rep. Francisco Canseco (Republican-TX, District 23)
Rep. John Carter (Republican-TX, District 31)
Rep. Steven Chabot (Republican-OH, District 1)
Rep. Mike Coffman (Republican-CO, District 6)
Rep. Chip Cravaack (Republican-MN, District 8 )
Rep. Rick Crawford (Republican-AR, District 1)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (Republican-FL, District 4)
Rep. John Culberson (Republican-TX, District 7)
Rep. Jeff Denham (Republican-CA, District 19)
Rep. Charles Dent (Republican-PA, District 15)
Rep. Bob Dold (Republican-IL, District 10)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (Republican-TX, District 27)
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (Republican-PA, District 8 )
Rep. Bill Flores (Republican-TX, District 17)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (Republican-NE, District 1)
Rep. Trent Franks (Republican-AZ, District 2)
Rep. Elton Gallegly (Republican-CA, District 24)
Rep. Cory Gardner (Republican-CO, District 4)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (Republican-PA, District 6)
Rep. Bob Gibbs (Republican-OH, District 18)
Rep. John Gingrey (Republican-GA, District 11)
Rep. Tim Griffin (Republican-AR, District 2)
Rep. Morgan Griffith (Republican-VA, District 9)
Rep. Michael Grimm (Republican-NY, District 13)
Rep. Richard Hanna (Republican-NY, District 24)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Republican-MO, District 4)
Rep. Doc Hastings (Republican-WA, District 4)
Rep. Joe Heck (Republican-NV, District 3)
Rep. Walter Herger (Republican-CA, District 2)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (Republican-CA, District 52)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Republican-KS, District 2)
Rep. Bill Johnson (Republican-OH, District 6)
Rep. Mike Kelly (Republican-PA, District 3)
Rep. Steve King (Republican-IA, District 5)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Republican-IL, District 11)
Rep. John Kline (Republican-MN, District 2)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (Republican-CO, District 5)
Rep. Leonard Lance (Republican-NJ, District 7)
Rep. James Lankford (Republican-OK, District 5)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (Republican-CA, District 41)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (Republican-NJ, District 2)
Rep. Frank Lucas (Republican-OK, District 3)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Republican-MO, District 9)
Rep. Daniel Lungren (Republican-CA, District 3)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (Republican-TX, District 24)
Rep. Thomas Marino (Republican-PA, District 10)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Republican-CA, District 22)
Rep. Howard McKeon (Republican-CA, District 25)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican-WA, District 5)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (Republican-PA, District 7)
Rep. Gary Miller (Republican-CA, District 42)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (Republican-TX, District 19)
Rep. Devin Nunes (Republican-CA, District 21)
Rep. Alan Nunnelee (Republican-MS, District 1)
Rep. Mike Pence (Republican-IN, District 6)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (Republican-KS, District 4)
Rep. Ben Quayle (Republican-AZ, District 3)
Rep. Dennis Rehberg (Republican-MT, At Large)
Rep. Jim Renacci (Republican-OH, District 16)
Rep. Martha Roby (Republican-AL, District 2)
Rep. Michael Rogers (Republican-MI, District 8 )
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Republican-CA, District 46)
Rep. Jon Runyan (Republican-NJ, District 3)
Rep. Steve Scalise (Republican-LA, District 1)
Rep. Pete Sessions (Republican-TX, District 32)
Rep. Michael Simpson (Republican-ID, District 2)
Rep. Adrian Smith (Republican-NE, District 3)
Rep. Christopher Smith (Republican-NJ, District 4)
Rep. Lamar Smith (Republican-TX, District 21)
Rep. Steve Stivers (Republican-OH, District 15)
Rep. John Sullivan (Republican-OK, District 1)
Rep. Patrick Tiberi (Republican-OH, District 12)
Rep. Scott Tipton (Republican-CO, District 3)
Rep. Greg Walden (Republican-OR, District 2)
Rep. Joe Wilson (Republican-SC, District 2)
Rep. Kevin Yoder (Republican-KS, District 3)
Rep. Todd Young (Republican-IN, District 9)


on “Roll Call: 88 Tea Party members of Congress vote for Unrestrained War Powers
8 Comments on “Roll Call: 88 Tea Party members of Congress vote for Unrestrained War Powers
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  4. I see that the author’s conclusion doesn’t match the circumstances. The resolution H. Con. Res 51 was situation specific in that it called for “Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya.” From that the author concludes that 88 members voted “FOR the unrestrained power of the presidency and AGAINST constitutional checks and balances.”

    The Constitution states that a president must get approval of Congress to go to war. The 1973 War Powers Act states that the President can commit troops under certain circumstances but then must get approval within a certain amount of time.

    It’s true that Obama committed an impeachable act in not getting approval from Congress and violating the War Powers Act as there was no threat to the US. But this HR 51 gave Obama permission to continue this specific operation, nothing more. The worst that could be said is that the failure of the House to pass the resolution might encourage this or future presidents to think they can again attempt to violate the Constitution with impunity. However, that has been a fact for almost a century.

    I might add about two-thirds of the House Democrats voted against HR 51 while Republicans split about in half. Why not also list the Democrat names? Is the article meant to be fair or is it meant to be partisan demagoguery?

    My personal opinion, and that’s all it is, is that Obama should have gotten a formal Declaration of War to attack Libya as the War Powers Act wasn’t applicable to the situation. That was Congress’ mistake, in not impeaching Obama when he violated the Constitution. At least Bush got a “feel good” resolution when he went after Iraq even though Iraq didn’t pose an immediate threat to the US.

    But politics being what they are, it would seem it’s not appropriate in this article to mention that the Democrats were the main support for Obama continuing the war against Libya. I suppose the author is saying that many Tea Party members aren’t being consistent in their calls for smaller government and less intrusion in international affairs while the Democrats are remaining very true to their principles of big powerful intrusive belligerent aggressive government.

  5. To Carl Jackman; I like your reasoning that a US president can’t go to war just with UN approval. As you point out, the UN charter is a Treaty that supersedes other parts of the Constitution. However, you point out the 1973 War Powers Resolution and the power of Congress to fund the military.

    As I understand the UN Charter, we can go to war against a member state if attacked or with permission of the UN. But I don’t see that the UN can direct us to go to war against another nation against our will.

    Please correct me if I;m wrong.

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