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Gaetz’s War Powers Resolution on Syria Forces the Issue: Where Is the Anti-War Movement in Congress?

Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a “privileged resolution” in the House of Representatives on Feb. 21, under the War Powers Resolution, H. Con. Res. 20, which forces the Congress to vote on the question of removing U.S. troops from Syria, within 18 days after it is ruled as having been accepted as filed. According to a Republican staff member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs who was contacted today, the Foreign Affairs Committee ruled that the bill was accepted as filed on Feb. 25, so the vote will have to occur in mid-March, perhaps on the “ides of March"—depending on exactly how the calendar days are counted!

The bill is very simple, stating the following:

“Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring) that pursuant to Section 5 (c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 USC 1544 (c)) the Congress directs the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Syria by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the adoption of the concurrent resolution.” (

Although Matt Gaetz looks at the issue from the standpoint of an America First Policy, nevertheless, he sees his resolution as forcing the question in Congress of the need for a bipartisan anti-war policy, and challenging the ostensible anti-war Democrats to stop being cheerleaders for NATO, while also challenging pro-war Republicans. So he clearly sees his resolution, which must be voted on immediately, as providing flanking support for his “Ukrainian Fatigue Act,” which calls for cutting funding to the war in Ukraine.

A Fox News story on the resolution quotes Gaetz, as saying: “One of my great disappointments in the 118th Congress is that people I thought were anti-war Democrats seem to be consumed, have become cheerleaders for our armed conflict. ‘The Squad’ used to be anti-war. Now they are waving their pom-poms for NATO. And so, I am looking for where the anti-war coalition resides in Congress.”

A Dave DeCamp article on on Gaetz’s resolution makes the broader point about Gaetz challenging the “Progressive Democrats” for supporting the war in Ukraine: “Gaetz criticized progressive Democrats for supporting U.S. involvement in Ukraine and said he wanted to see where the ‘antiwar coalition’ in Congress falls when it comes to the Middle East. ‘Is it more on the right, is it more on the left? Is it some amalgamation thereof? But this resolution will test who is truly adherent to what I believe is America First Foreign Policy and who continues to believe in Middle Eastern adventurism,’ he said.” (

In regards to this resolution, DeCamp makes the ironic point in regards to the Progressive Dems that in July 2022 the House voted on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, introduced by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (HR 7900) that would have cut all funds for theU.S. presence in Syria within a year if President Biden did not get the approval of Congress. Although the amendment was voted down, 60% of the Democrats voted for it—130!—including such notable “progressives” as Ro Khanna and Hakeem Jeffries! This is a list of all the votes:

Where will they stand now on the Gaetz War Powers Resolution? The 25 Republicans who voted for the amendment included the current opponents of the funding of the war in Ukraine, such as Gaetz, Gosar, Greene, Boebert, as well as Jim Jordan.