Legislation that would require Congress to declare war before the Texas National Guard would be sent into active combat status is moving through the legislative process.
House Bill 2701, by State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City), was heard on Monday before the House Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“For nearly eight decades, Congress has not made a declaration of war,” Slaton stated. “Only Congress can declare war, not the president. But when we went to war under Bush, the president declared war, and Congress just went with it. President Bush should not have sent troops to Iraq or Afghanistan because Congress did not declare war.”
At the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2001, 20 years ago, Slaton explained that the Texas National Guard should not have taken part unless Congress had approved it first.
This bill is the first of its kind in the Texas Legislature.
“No one has adopted this kind of bill yet. It’s about the Constitution, and doing it the right way, and making Congress vote to go to war,” said Slaton.
“This is, in effect, our mentality towards readiness. All this does is hold the brakes and have Congress declare war, and then we’ll be ready to go,” he added.
Multiple individuals, primarily veterans, came to testify in support of Slaton’s bill.
Scott Horton, director of The Libertarian Institute, came to testify in favor of the bill, stating, “Eisenhower warned about the potential for an industrial-military complex and over-militarization. Recent presidents, Obama and Trump, echoed President Eisenhower’s concern over the potential for an industrial-military complex, though [they] have not made a move to change that behavior.”
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