Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, debated and voted for the Syria Transition Support Act of 2013 (S. 960), a bipartisan bill introduced by the Committee Chairman Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Ranking Member Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). The legislation allows U.S. military assistance to vetted Syrian rebels, authorizes the imposition of new sanctions on sellers of arms and oil to the Assad regime, and creates a $250 million transition fund for post-Assad Syria.
Kaine's amendment, which was accepted by the committee, makes U.S. military assistance to vetted Syrian rebels conditional on the opposition's commitment to an inclusive political transition.
"The Assad government continues to slaughter its own people in Syria. While there are no good options, the United States must work with our partners to promote a negotiated, peaceful, and inclusive political transition," said Kaine. "By allowing the Administration to responsibly provide U.S. military assistance to carefully vetted opposition members, conditional on a commitment to an inclusive political transition, we hope to hasten a peaceful resolution to the current conflict in Syria and stop the suffering of the Syrian people."