McCollum Statement on Congressional Authorization for Military Action in Syria

St. Paul, MN – Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s request for Congressional authorization for military action in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“Without final legislative language to consider it is impossible for me to commit at this time to support or oppose President Obama’s request for Congressional authorization for military action targeting the Syrian regime.”

“Having been briefed by the White House, the intelligence is undeniable that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons to gas and kill innocent civilians. This is a crime against humanity that requires an unequivocal response from the U.S. and the international community. To do nothing and allow Syrian President Assad and his generals’ impunity following such an atrocity would undermine the most fundamental global norms of conduct that keep Americans safe while directly putting at risk our key regional allies – Jordan, Turkey, and Israel.

As I have stated previously, the U.S. should not take unilateral military action, but it is clear the Obama Administration is making significant diplomatic efforts to seek support from a host of nations, especially Arab League nations, for a limited military strike. President Obama’s plan can only be successful if the world is standing with the U.S.”

“It is my intention to return to Washington tomorrow, attend additional briefings, and consult with the Administration and Congressional colleagues.  President Obama must make the case and earn the support of the American people and Congress, including this representative, for limited and effective military action against the Syrian regime.  I applaud the President for fully engaging Congress in this critically important decision.”

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Congresswoman Betty McCollum is a member of the House Appropriations Committee
and serves as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus