President Barack Obama announced Saturday that the United States has a moral obligation to respond to a devastating chemical weapons attack that killed over 1,400 people earlier this month in Syria, but that he would first seek authorization from Congress.
“This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security,” Obama said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden.
“I have decided the U.S. should take action against Syrian military targets,” he added.
Obama said he believed he had constitutional authority to intervene militarily in Syria without congressional approval, but that the country “will be stronger” if he does so. He added that congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Bohner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), all agreed.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.