Could another U.S. president be on the road to impeachment?
“If a president on his authority and in direct contravention of the constitution plunges our nation into war … if that’s not impeachable, what is?” said Republican Congressman Tom McClintock of Roseville.
It’s the kind of question McClintock never thought he’d have to ask, but it’s a situation he believes the U.S. Congress will have to face if President Obama makes a solo move to strike Syria.
That possible strike was prompted by the suspected use chemical weapons by the country against its own people.
The chemical attack is the latest flashpoint in a civil war that has been escalating in Syria since 2011.
For McClintock, the biggest issue isn’t if something needs to be done – it’s the steps needed to get there.
“The constitution does not require consultation. It does not require informing Congress. It requires Congress’ specific act to authorize a war,” said McClintock.
As of yet, the president hasn’t made his case to federal lawmakers.
Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney of Stockton believes that’s okay – for now.
“I’m not sure that that’s constitutionally forbidden, but he will definitely need to get Congressional consultation,” said McNerney about the president’s plans.
While McNerney has a different view of the requirements facing the president, he doesn’t agree with any solo US action.
“The urge to do symbolic bombings or action like that is counter-productive,” he said.
It’s a feeling both he and McClintock share.
“Look at the tinder box in the Middle East … throwing a match into that could have unimaginable consequences,” said McClintock.
While Congressman McClintock has written to the speaker of the house and has added his name a letter floated by colleague Scott Rigell urging the president to come to Congress, McNerney hasn’t taken any action like that.
Eighteen other Democrats are signed onto that letter.