Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 20, 2014

Obama Will Consult Congress on Syria

Updated 1:43 p.m. | President Barack Obama will consult Congress on Syria, according to a White House official — something Speaker John A. Boehner has sought before any military action is taken.

“We will be consulting appropriately with the Congress,” the official said in response to a question from CQ Roll Call about the president’s meeting this morning with his advisers to discuss options in response to reports of a possible massacre via chemical weapons in Syria.

“Once we ascertain the facts, the President will make an informed decision about how to respond,” a White House official said. “We have a range of options available, and we are going to act very deliberately so that we’re making decisions consistent with our  national interest as well as our assessment of what can advance our objectives in Syria.”

Boehner has previously called for the president to have “robust” consultation with Congress before military action in Syria, although he has nixed bipartisan efforts to vote to block military intervention.

In July, he publicly endorsed the administration’s decision to provide military aid to rebels. And in June he spoke against allowing a vote on Syria military intervention.

“I don’t know that we’re ready for that conversation, because the president’s not suggested any specific steps forward at this point, and — and so there really is nothing yet to vote on,” Boehner said June 27.

The president had met with Boehner and other top congressional leaders at the White House two days earlier for over an hour to discuss foreign policy.

Reps. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y. and Peter Welch, D-Vt., had led an effort to force a vote on prohibiting military intervention in Syria, including aid to rebels, without congressional authorization.

Boehner blocked a vote on their measure in July via the Rules Committee, which refused to allow their amendment to the Defense spending bill.

A companion effort in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has three co-sponsors: Mike Lee, R-Utah, Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said the president cannot launch an attack on Syria without Congressional approval.

“Congress hasn’t authorized war against Syria. Unless Pres Obama expects imminent attack on U.S., use of force is unconstitutional & illegal,” he tweeted Friday night.

But Syria hawks have said the president has the authority to act short of putting boots on the ground in Syria — something no one has advocated and the president has ruled out — without a vote of Congress.

And there is ample precedent in recent decades, including President Bill Clinton’s air war in Kosovo, and Obama’s strikes in Libya, of presidents acting without Congressional authorization.

With Congress at home this month, don’t expect that pattern to change if Obama decides to attack Syria.

  • D T

    come on its a fake situations made by rebels some miles from the UN team in order to trigger events. Jihadist have those kind of weapons since Khan Al Assal attack against the army, so they simply launch them to civilians(no jihadists have been killed from that attack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so simply who can find who launch them?????? nobody can tell, they will simply confirm the use of weapons that both sides have and rebels use them in the past!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mohammed Alaa Ghanem

      I know the Syrian electronic Army has been waging a posting campaign but I’m afraid no matter how many false comments you post, the Neo-Nazi mass murderers will be held accountable. Keep calm and post on.

      • D T

        like your radiation symbol. I dont know what they are doing but i dont account them as army but mainly as an government organization of unknown quality and results…. I will preferably dont want them to exist…..
        Coming back to the facts however i am delightful that you haven’ not a single comment to air upon my argument on this case.
        Rebels are miserably failing in all fronts and jihadist lunatics are the only that take some success upon a higly cost as we all see in that gas attack that is not by any case serve the interests of the Syrian Army but only the interests of those ignorant uneducated lunatic and fanatic peasants…..

    • David

      I’m not sure you used enough punctuation. Tell us how you really feel.

      • D T

        Hmmmm You can not ask access to an area few hours before and when that access is granted to say that there is no evidence now to investigate due to time passed and area is compromise …… And if so why UN team is finally raising to the area?????

        And lest proceed to the Khan Al Assal case that happened in March!!!!!! why the inspectors agreed to come to Damascus to investigate that case(happen months ago), if they are not capable of investigate them due to time…….
        questions questions question and once more we in EU, but mostly US, cannot follow the rhythm of developments in Middle East, even if they are owners of a big variety of embassies and mission who collect and map evidence in those areas…..

        • David

          The Syrian government continued to bombard the area with conventional explosives to attempt to dispose of the evidence. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t dispose of evidence like eyewitness accounts or the bodies of the victims. No one has said there is no evidence now, just that Syria is trying to cover it up.

          • D T

            An other point of ignorant people who is spreading that throw media(not accusing you personally but the sources of information). How are you going to eradicate evidence from human corpse and wounded people??? By bombing???? What was the purpose of investigation in Khan Al Assal then, an area not only bombed ,since last March, but changed hands since the attack!!!!
            Syrian Army tried to occupy this particular area and secure the direct access to the investigation team because if they go without cover there and get killed the reaction would be devastating and certainly against them(government). The pressure however led to the access of the team without proper security measures. If even one of them get killed today(the first vehicle was taken fire) the developments now will be devastating

          • David

            The evidence tampering refers to the Syrian government’s bombing of the area to contaminate air and soil samples. The bodies and witnesses are why the White House says there is “very little doubt” that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime.

          • D T

            The UN inspectors just visited wounded people and take human tissue samples and blood. The ground samples are irrelevant to the case when you have people on the ground and that samples cannot be disordered!!!!!!
            If you see the facts on caution you will realize that its a game of statements from White House in order to escalate and lead to the steps they want to take…..
            In Khan Al Assal rebels saw that they have the ability to launch from distance and achieve that kind of a hit(30-40 soldiers were killed back then). Do you really believe that jihadists would hesitate to kill some civilians???? And beyond that where is a single rebel fighter hited from this attack?????
            When you are(West diplomacy) are telling lies its common to fall in more lies and mistakes in order to support their primary mistake, hoping that nobody will watch the details of their case…..
            Beyond that nobody bother to explain how in youtube we have videos uploaded from the attack hours before that occurred, Russian FM also notice that today.
            Daily Mail also report from those mails in a British defence company were the ignorants searching for chemical weapons like those the Syrian army use in order to incriminate then….
            Can we really ignore all of that and why in Khan Al Assal case of use nobody gave importance???
            questions and only questions and gaps to the western policy that simply saw their fear of loosing the momentum of their case scenario

  • MissV

    If Obama gets us into another war he should be impeached. So tired of people living in the streets begging people who can’t afford it for money and all these corrupt bastards wasting dollars that we don’t even have. China will you please cut off the money faucet to the USA until we see that our government has the gold to back it? We are tired of paying for this corrupt dictatorships illegal actions and would actually like to see them charged for dereliction of duty, I have no problem with a guillotine being brought out into the streets and our dictator and his supreme beings executed in the streets like common thugs like they did to Marie Antoinette and her idiot husband. No justice, No peace!

    • Paul Revere Deux

      with you 10000% RETIRED US ARMY

    • stasis

      Everyone was for invading Iraq to get rid of a tyrant with chemical weapons. What’s different now? That there is a Democrat in the White House?

      • mason boyd

        the difference is the rising impact of the internet on people, we no longer get our information from the same source and we are smarter now. and we learned from our mistakes.

        • stasis

          Let’s hope you’re right. I thought the same about the Viet Nam war, but I was wrong.

          • mason boyd

            I’m just being hopeful but I think that when the government wants to go to war, they go. I think the difference is that the majority of Americans will see through the bs a lot sooner than with other wars. And I think you are wrong for trying to make this a partisan argument. Both parties are at war against the people. They always win because they have us fighting each other instead of holding the government accountable. Do a few minutes of research and you will see that there is no difference in policy between the bush and obama administrations that are relevant to actual governing and foreign policy. The ONLY difference are taxation issues, abortion, and gay marriage issues.

          • stasis

            You could not be more wrong about both governance and foreign policy being the same under Bush and Obama. I am current in my research. Remember that the President has a responsibility to defend America against all threats, both foreign and domestic. Liberals may not like it, but Obama has to be somewhat proactive in the modern era. Conservatives no longer call Democrats weak on national defense for good reason. Bush on the other was a dime-store cowboy eager for a kill and so hell bent on proving his manhood that he fabricated threats to buoy his popularity and ego. Rather than take out a dictator with Special Ops or a drone strike, Bush launched a full scale war of aggression that America could never win. Obama, in my opinion, is taking a more measured approach: not kidnapping innocent Americans on foreign soil and not invading third world countries. NSA eavesdropping? Look at the history of the program. Look up “CARNIVORE” “DARPA” and Adm. Pointexter. That was a Clinton initiative. Don’t expect privacy in a public world.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqjjOrDq7ds Winston Blake

            We have chemical warfare against American children coming across the border with the narcoterrorist drug trade…

            The death toll in Chicago is much higher than Syria, why not send the troops to Chicago?

            You are on some kind of intense narcotics.

          • stasis

            What a bizarre little screed.

          • cholly8524

            No matter how many times you repeat this BS, it doesn’t make it true. Wanna know why? Everyone on this blog is not a teabagger, gullible nor stupid.

      • Tonyandoc

        Everyone? Really!
        If that is from your “fact chest”, then it throws doubt on any comment you post.

        • stasis

          Okay. Point taken. All conservatives and some Democrats. That makes the argument.

          • Tonyandoc

            Move back a notch or two and ask yourself if the estimated one million people protesting in London were part of the “some Democrats”.
            We all have our own version of reality but the more bits from actuality we allow into it the more useful it is as a guide to rational thought.

    • CoolHanc

      If the house votes to authorize the war then he won’t be impeached on this issue. Since the house initiates the impeachment.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqjjOrDq7ds Winston Blake

        We have chemical warfare against American children coming across the border with the narcoterrorist drug trade…

        The death toll in Chicago is much higher than Syria, why not send the troops to Chicago?

        Egypt says “fúck you Obama, we are going to kill the terrorists…”

        • stasis

          You’re an odd little man “Winston”. You are fluent in a Arabic, yes?

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqjjOrDq7ds Winston Blake

            You are fluent in fággot…

        • cholly8524

          No matter how many times you repeat this BS, it doesn’t make it true. Wanna know why? Everyone on this blog is not a teabagger, gullible nor stupid.

    • cholly8524

      Please proceed. This makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Paul Revere Deux

    impeach and remove o’bomber–and the warmonger con…gress..

  • Tonyandoc

    Is this the story?
    The Leader of the House asks for “robust” talks before the President embarks on actions that the Constitution specifies are reserved to Congress to authorize.
    Are our dear leaders missing something here?

  • Gonzalo

    Obama doesn´t need approval from congress because they already signed in 2003 the Syrian Accountability and the Lebanese Soeverignty Act wich gives permission to the US to attack Syria whenever the president wants.

    • http://shadowreview.blogspot.com/ Dave

      (1) the President shall prohibit the export to Syria of any item,
      including the issuance of a license for the export of any item, on the
      United States Munitions List or Commerce Control List of dual-use items
      in the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR part 730 et seq.); and

      (2) the President shall impose two or more of the following sanctions:

      (A) Prohibit the export of products of the United States (other than food and medicine) to Syria.

      (B) Prohibit United States businesses from investing or operating in Syria.

      (C)
      Restrict Syrian diplomats in Washington, D.C., and at the United
      Nations in New York City, to travel only within a 25-mile radius of
      Washington, D.C., or the United Nations headquarters building,
      respectively.

      (D) Prohibit aircraft of any air carrier owned or controlled by Syria to take off from, land in, or overfly the United States.

      (E)
      Reduce United States diplomatic contacts with Syria (other than those
      contacts required to protect United States interests or carry out the
      purposes of this Act).(F) Block transactions in any property in which the Government of Syria has any interest, by any person, or

      No where does it state the President is authorized to use force in Syria. Besides, the bill was enacted in regards to the Syrian government providing support to terrorist groups, not waging a civil war or committing human rights violations.

  • Neko El Gato

    A little phony lip service from yet another scumbag warmonger.

  • http://shadowreview.blogspot.com/ Dave

    Wow, so here we are again on the brink of war, and supposedly one of the most “conservative” members of congress and the damn speaker of the house blocks a vote to actually enforce the constitution?

    Things are now totally out of control when it comes to the imperial presidency…

    http://www.andmagazine.com/content/phoenix/13249.html

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