U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) and Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) today introduced legislation prohibiting the Administration from taking military action in Syria, including providing weapons or other support to warring factions, without first receiving Congressional authorization.
Rep. Rooney said: "What is the goal of providing weapons to the rebels? We know that the rebels have been infiltrated by al Qaeda and some of the same people we've been fighting for the last 10 years. Senior administration officials have told me they can't give any assurance that our weapons won't wind up in the hands of al Qaeda. So what's our endgame? If the President wants to take us into Syria, he needs to come to Congress and convince us. The President needs to make a convincing case that this is in our national security interest, and he needs to lay out a clear and comprehensive mission, including an exit strategy. He hasn't done that yet." Rooney serves on the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees.
Chairman McCaul said: "Arming the rebels in Syria potentially places those weapons into the hands of the Islamist extremists who have infiltrated their ranks and who continue to plot against the United States and our interests abroad. If the president believes American involvement in Syria is necessary, he will have to present a convincing plan to the Congress and make the case that providing assistance to Syrian opposition forces would not pose a national security threat to the United States." McCaul is the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Rooney-McCaul "Congressional Accountability and Oversight in Syria Act" would prohibit the Administration from providing weapons or other support to any faction in Syria without first receiving explicit authorization from Congress. It further prohibits the Administration from exercising American military force in Syria, including but not limited to enforcing a no-fly zone or putting American boots on the ground, without Congressional authorization, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.