Rand Paul: Trump needs Congress to authorize military action in Syria

The Hill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asserted Thursday night that President Trump needs congressional authorization for military action in Syria after Trump ordered an airstrike in the country following a deadly chemical attack earlier this week.

“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said in a statement shortly after reports that the U.S. had launched more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles against an airfield in Syria.

“The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate,” Paul said. “Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.”

Paul expressed similar sentiments earlier Thursday amid reports that the Trump administration was considering a strike. Earlier this week, President Bashar Assad’s forces reportedly used chemical weapons against opponents in Syria’s years-long civil war.

A number of Democrats on Thursday night also urged caution after the Trump administration struck at an airfield near the city of Homs, where it said a gas attack originated earlier this week.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) sided with Paul on Twitter, saying that Trump “can use military force in defense of US. But attacking #Assad regime requires congressional approval.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) also called the strike “an act of war” on Twitter, saying that “Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility.”


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