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McCollum Supports “Van Hollen-Connolly Joint Resolution” Authorizing Strict Limits on Military Force Against Syrian Regime

September 5, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) announced her support for draft legislation authored by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) authorizing President Obama to conduct limited military action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians.

The “Van Hollen-Connolly Joint Resolution” strictly prohibits American forces on the ground in Syria, limits the authority for military action to 60 days, and limits the objective to deterring the repeated use of chemical weapons.  The “Van Hollen-Connolly” language will prevent the U.S. from being dragged into Syria’s civil war, but ensures the U.S., with its international partners, is defending the global ban on the use of chemical weapons.

Congresswoman McCollum issued the following statement regarding her support for the “Van Hollen-Connolly Joint Resolution”:

“The Syrian regime has used chemical weapons to gas and kill their own people. Over 1,400 people are dead, including more than 400 children. The intelligence is undeniable.”

“This atrocity violates the most basic international standards of acceptable behavior, even in war, and it is too egregious to ignore. President Obama is correct – a forceful, coordinated international response to the Assad regime’s crimes is needed. Yet, an open-ended, poorly defined authorization for the use of military force is not acceptable to me, but neither is the prospect of doing nothing in the face of this evil act against innocent civilians.”

“The legislation put forward by Reps. Van Hollen and Connolly is the right approach. It clearly defines limitations to prevent an open ended commitment. Yet, it provides President Obama the support of Congress to take military action, in coordination with international partners, to enforce the chemical weapons ban and deter their future use. U.S. national security and our vital leadership role in the Middle East are at stake. I urge my colleagues and constituents to support this responsible approach.”

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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