Top Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday that it would be “a huge mistake” if President Barack Obama were to go ahead with a military strike against Syria should Congress vote against it.
“I was of the view that the president has the power, as commander-in-chief, to take very limited military action as the president said he was intending to take,” he said. “Now, there are some in the administration that are apparently keeping open the possibility that even if Congress said no to authorization, that the president would still move forward. And that would be a huge mistake.”
“So your message to the White House is, if Congress votes no, don’t go there,” Mitchell said.
“That’s right,” Van Hollen responded.
“The president has come to the Congress to ask for authority,” he added. “I think that’s the decisive factor here.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.