Lawmakers Warn Trump To Consult Congress Before Military Action In Syria

AP
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After the Trump administration ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base on Thursday night, many members of Congress approved of the move. But President Donald Trump faced some criticism for launching the strikes, and some members warned the President to seek authorization from Congress before escalating action in Syria further.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the strikes “appropriate and just.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also said the action was proportional” but told the administration that if Trump intends to “escalate” military action in Syria, he must obtain authorization from Congress.

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers also signaled their support for Trump’s response while adding that any escalation should come after consulting with Congress.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that the Trump administration’s response was “measured,” but added that Trump must work with Congress moving forward on policy toward Syria.

A handful of Republican and Democratic lawmakers also criticized Trump for acting without Congress’ approval.

“Congress will work with the President, but his failure to seek Congressional approval is unlawful,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in a statement.

“While I’m encouraged that the Trump Administration has felt compelled to act forcefully in Syria against the Assad regime, I’m gravely concerned that the United States is engaging further militarily in Syria without a well-thought-out, comprehensive plan,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) said in a statement. “Coordination and openness with Congress is more important than ever, and President Trump must seek an authorization for the use of military force from Congress, especially if this attack signals an intention to consider launching a campaign against Assad.”

A few members also opposed the strikes altogether.

“It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on a trip to Syria, said in a statement. “This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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