News / USA

Some US Lawmakers Demand Congressional Approval on Syria

FILE - President Barack Obama arrives in State Dining Room of the White House, June 14, 2013.FILE - President Barack Obama arrives in State Dining Room of the White House, June 14, 2013.
FILE - President Barack Obama arrives in State Dining Room of the White House, June 14, 2013.
FILE - President Barack Obama arrives in State Dining Room of the White House, June 14, 2013.
Cindy Saine
Some U.S. lawmakers are calling on President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before authorizing any military strikes in Syria in response to alleged chemical weapon attacks by President Bashar al-Assad.
Although White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is consulting with House and Senate leaders, he did not say whether Obama will seek authorization from Congress for prospective military actions.
Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are expressing concern that Obama may order limited military action in Syria without seeking congressional approval.
"I think it’s essential that President Obama comes to Congress, asks for authorization [for a strike on Syria], receives it or not receives it, and then acts with the willingness of the United States Congress," Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). "That’s what President Bush did for previous wars."
"I believe a missile strike against al-Assad forces is imminent, and I think that all we will get from President Obama with getting the help of Congress is he will notify us: ‘in 20 minutes, the strikes will begin,'" she added. "And that will just about be it."
Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria and is calling for robust Congressional debate before any U.S. military action is taken.
Pressed about calls for congressional authorization, White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday indicated the president believes consulting with congressional leaders is enough.
"We are engaging in what we believe our responsibility is here, which is to consult with Congress," he said. "That process is under way."
Congressman Scott Rigell (R-Va.) is asking fellow representatives to sign a letter to the president calling on him to reconvene Congress and seek approval for any military action. Congress is in recess for two more weeks. Rigell and others have invoked the War Powers Resolution, which requires congressional authorization within 60 days of military action, but both Republican and Democratic presidents have disregarded the resolution in the past.
House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, is calling on the president to consult with Congress on what he considers his viable options.
A few members of Congress support limited military action in Syria, including Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have criticized the president for not acting earlier.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Felipe from: Manteiga
September 03, 2013 12:44 PM
The fall of al-Assad will complete the dethroning of governments opposed to Arab fundamentalism. In Syria, an outcome analogous to the Brotherhood in Egypt may occur.

Our bombing should be planned not only to remove contrarian Assad but also to wipe out or at least weaken the opposition aligned with our adversaries and to strenghten those supporting our views and friendly to Israel. Unless proven wrong I am convinced this, and not Assad, is the main objective of our military intervention. Que sera, sera!

by: Joan Smith from: Miami
August 29, 2013 4:50 PM
Today, I discussed the Syrian situation with my 97 year old Mom. We should ask more 90 year olds their opinion. At her age, there is no ego involvement. She said simply, the guilty party has to apologize. Our country seems so afraid of appearing weak. Strength sometimes comes with the simplest solution. So Mr. President and Legislators, put your egos aside and do nothing except encourage Assad to apologize if, indeed, he is the guilty party. When you think about missiles, think of how you would feel if your son was the target.

by: us from: us
August 27, 2013 8:50 PM
How about quit dragging this country into continuous wars, I guess the military industrial complex does not have enough money or power yet.

by: dominker from: nc
August 27, 2013 6:28 PM
why would the pres. ask this so called congress to do anything. they have not done anything for this country for 5 years . im not a fan of obama i dont like where we are headed or anything he has done. but at least he is doing something so we dont look as weak as we are in the rest of the world

by: wing ding from: chicago
August 27, 2013 6:11 PM
Why should he be any different than any preceding president in asking for congressional approval? Anyway, the buffoons who are elected officials will no doubt succumb to the pressures and approve a military action, which we will rue ...

by: Bob from: U.S.
August 27, 2013 6:10 PM
This is the way the Military/Industrial Complex wants it, so the president will attempt to bypass the congress of the U.S. and do it the way he is told by the military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about many years ago, they have their tentacles into every facet of government.....why do we have a congress if the president has the authority to act unilaterially.?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs