Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 4, 2015

Syria War Resolution Will Be Narrowed, Lawmakers Say

It took less than 24 hours for lawmakers to realize that the draft authorization for the use of military force sent to Congress by President Barack Obama would open the door to a prolonged war with Syria.

That’s not something that Obama or top administration have been publicly pushing for — all indications are that the plan is for targeted action to deter the regime of Bashar al-Assad from further use of chemical weapons. But, as became clear on Capitol Hill on Sunday, Congress has no appetite for the broader mandate that the White House technically proposed.

As #WGDB noted Saturday night, the draft would authorize Obama to use U.S. military assets “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” to prevent Assad from using or proliferating chemical weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., reportedly said after a Sunday afternoon classified briefing in the Capitol that administration officials had conceded the resolution language would be modified.

“I think the biggest question I heard is that the president’s request is open-ended,” Roberts said, according to The Washington Post.

“That has to be rectified, and they simply said in answer to that that they would work with the Congress and try to come back with a more prescribed resolution. But I’m not too sure that the people who answered that are the people that have that decision to make,” added Roberts, a former Intelligence Committee chairman.

Likewise, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Chairman Patrick J. Leahy said that Democratic aides were already working on revisions. Senate Democratic leadership aides did not immediately respond to a request for an update on that work.

“I know it’s going to be amended in the Senate,” the Vermont Democrat said, according to Politico.

In a statement issued Saturday, Leahy praised Obama for breaking from the practice of recent presidents acting to use force without expressed backing from Congress.

“I continue to oppose introducing U.S. troops into this conflict, and I continue to believe that seeking congressional approval of military action is called for. Given the positions taken by past presidents, the President’s decision to seek congressional approval is especially commendable,” Leahy said. “I look forward to this debate, and we should have it openly in the Congress.”

House members, including Rep. Jim Himes, echoed the comments made by Leahy and Roberts.

“There was a lot of concern for the resolution as drafted is overly broad,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “You know, it has no limitations in either time or scope of activity, including boots on the ground, which I think pretty much nobody has an appetite for.”

Rep. Brad Sherman suggested similar thoughts in a statement released after the classified briefing. The California Democrat has already drafted amendments to narrow the scope of the resolution.

“While the President makes the case for limited action, the resolution he proposes is without limits. The proposed resolution would give the President the authority to act with no limit on the duration of our involvement and it would authorize all types of military action, including boots-on-the-ground,” Sherman said. “We cannot give the President a blank check.”

Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

Comments (11)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. invention13

    Sept. 2, 2013
    6:47 a.m.

    Interesting what’s going on here: the administration gives congress an initial draft that they know will never pass, congress amends it and, having done so, is more likely to pass it. The question changes from “will we approve of intervention in Syria” to “what is the scope of intervention in Syria that we will approve”? Congress is probably stupid enough to fall for it.

  2. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    5:40 a.m.

    I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  3. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    4:15 p.m.

    Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

    http://besardanpanjangzakar.beep.com/index.htm

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:20 a.m.

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:05 a.m.

    Thanks for another fantastic post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:48 p.m.

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

    http://www.studyabroad.com/members/cedricksani36/default.aspx?

  7. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    3:09 p.m.

    Its superb as your other blog posts : D, appreciate it for posting. “The squeaking wheel doesn’t always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced.” by Vic Gold.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  8. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    7:01 a.m.

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  9. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    11:13 p.m.

    Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to make this particular publish extraordinary. Magnificent job!

    http://thatnikonguy.com/community/index.php?p=/discussion/108737/home-insurance-calculator-usa

  10. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    1:02 p.m.

    Magnificent web site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your effort!

    http://brookereviews.com/product/children-learning-reading-program-jim-yang-review-legit-scam/

  11. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    6:01 p.m.

    It’s arduous to search out knowledgeable individuals on this subject, but you sound like you already know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://www.consultdustry.com/associates-global-trade-and-international-business-development-agency/

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...