Congress Must Immediately Assert Itself Regarding Venezuela

By Robert Moore

If scribbled notes on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s legal pad are to be believed, the Trump administration is seriously considering a sizeable deployment of American military forces to South America as they ratchet up pressure for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down from power.

President Trump has already recognized opposition leader and challenger Juan Guaido as the new President of the National Assembly and is instituting sanctions against a state run oil company to put pressure on Maduro supporters. Meanwhile, influential voices in Washington who have been advocating regime change in Venezuela for decades are finding allies and sympathizers in President Trump’s inner circle.

The United States Congress—which is given the power to declare war by Article I Section 8 of the Constitution—has been distracted by the government shutdown and questions about how the new majority in the House of Representatives will investigate President Trump. A recent website scan of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees shows no hearings scheduled on the growing crisis in Venezuela and only boilerplate statements from committee leaders asking for more information from the administration or in support of President Trump’s actions.

This piece was originally published by The National Review on January 31, 2019. Read the piece in its entirety HERE.

Robert Moore is a public policy advisor for Defense Priorities. He has nearly ten years of experience on Capitol Hill as a staffer for Senator Mike Lee on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senator Jim DeMint.