33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action

Author: us-russia
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33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action
Published 28-08-2013, 04:34
Thirty-three House lawmakers have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he plans to use military force in Syria.

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who represents a coastal Virginia district rife with current and former military personnel, wrote in the letter that "engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United State exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”

Most signers are Republicans, according to Rigell’s office. Democratic Reps. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Gene Green (Texas), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Rush Holt (N.J.) have also signed on.

(PHOTOS: International response to Syria)

The letter notes that the lawmakers believe Obama should have asked Congress for permission when he sent cruise missiles and bombs into Libya. "If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?” the signers ask.

"If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request,” the letter reads. "We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”
 
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