Off the Record

Greta: Congress, put up or shut up on presidential authority and war

'Off the Record,' 9/23/14: If any member of Congress has a problem with Pres. Obama bombing Syria without Congressional approval, get off the campaign trail and come back to Washington

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. A decision to go to war is the most important decision made on behalf of the nation. And last night, the president made the decision without authorization from Congress to bomb Syria.

This "Off the Record" is not about whether the president's strategy is a smart one or not. Nor is it about whether a decision about Syria should have been made a year ago or not. This is about whether the president has the authority to make the decision to bomb Syria without Congress.

Now, here's what I think. If any members of Congress have any problem at all, get on a plane and get back to D.C. and start the debate. That's how it should be handled. Not by political swipes back home at Congressional districts or from a campaign trail, or in some hastily sent press release, or worse, via a Twitter account. Congress knew this was coming.

They could have debated it last week, but did not. War's a very serious issue. And if any member of Congress, House or Senate has an objection to the president making this decision alone, get back here now, not after midterms. And if no one shows up, well, it's fair to assume that Congress approves that the president acted alone.

So, members of Congress, I'm talking to each one of you: If you are not here tomorrow, you know the old saying, it applies to you, "Put up or shut up." And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.