Kerry: Admin. Would Prefer ‘Trigger’ Permitting Response If Assad Uses Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the Obama administration prefers a “trigger” that would allow the United States an additional 60-day deadline for military action if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons in the future.

“We would prefer that you have some kind of trigger in there with respect to if he were to come back and use chemical weapons again that there would be a capacity to respond to that,” Kerry said at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

When Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) suggested that the administration could either seek congressional approval if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons again, Kerry said a provision allowing an extra 60 days each time chemical weapons are used is preferable. 


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at