Many people are wondering what the next step is with Syria. Before this week, the American military has bombed terrorist forces in Syria and in recent days we have attacked assets of the Syrian regime. These are opposing forces within Syria’s complex civil war. When you add the Russian dilemma to the mix, you have massive confusion over what the future holds regarding our involvement in this Middle East crisis.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to bring House lawmakers back to Washington because of the recent developments in Syria. The lower chamber recessed on Thursday for an 18-day spring break, but Pelosi is convinced that is too long to wait for debate concerning “any decision to place our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”
“The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty,” Pelosi wrote to Ryan. “Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.” Nancy Pelosi has been a longtime advocate in Congress to pass new authorization for use of military force within the U.S. military involvement in Syria and other Middle Eastern areas of conflict. She supported a resolution from former President Obama two years ago that then-Speaker John Boehner rejected because he thought the resolution too restrictive.
Speaker Ryan’s office has indicated that they have no update to the House’s Spring schedule. The chamber will recess until April 24th.
Pelosi remains a staunch critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on his own people places him outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” Pelosi wrote to Ryan. She also warned of further strikes. “As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes.”
The Democratic Minority Leader was steadfast about what needs to happen regarding the future, “The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria.” Pelosi continues to maintain that any escalation of attacks by the U.S. “must” be accompanied by congressional approval. This stance was supported by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who tweeted Thursday night, “While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked. The President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution.”
During the Obama Administration Pelosi, several times attempted to pass a bill that would give the President more leeway to attack other countries without congressional approval. It has been rumored that she would try to float the same type of legislation.
While I agree with Pelosi that Congress needs to put a plan together regarding Syria, we don’t need to give any President more power than they already have. Yes, it will slow things down but, that is the whole point of Congress.
Do you think congressional input in the Syrian crisis can be put on hold until April 24th while our leaders “break” for the Spring?