Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) today introduced legislation prohibiting the president from using taxpayer dollars to supply Syrian rebels with military aid and equipment. This legislation would ban the Department of Defense (DOD), the CIA and all other intelligence agencies from funding any military, paramilitary or covert operations in Syria.
Bi-partisan legislation has already been introduced in the Senate by Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rand Paul (R-KY).
Congressman DesJarlais issued the following statement:
"I am deeply concerned over President Obama's unilateral decision to arm the Syrian rebels. While Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's actions are nothing short of reprehensible, we simply do not know enough about the goals and objectives of the rebel factions to justify intervention by the United States. We could very well be jeopardizing our national security interests by sending weapons to a group with reported ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda. History has shown us too often that when we arm extremist groups in the Middle East, we can expect to have those weapons used against us or our allies at a later date."
The text of the bill follows:
Title: To restrict funds related to escalating United States military involvement in Syria.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Protecting Americans from the Proliferation of Weapons to Terrorists Act of 2013".
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON FUNDS TO ESCALATE UNITED STATES MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN SYRIA.
(a) In General.-Except as provided under subsection (b), no funds made available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of, or in a manner which would have the effect of, supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual.
(b) Exception.-The prohibition under subsection (a) does not apply to funds obligated for non-lethal humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people provided directly by the United States Government, through nongovernmental organizations and contractors, or through foreign governments.
(c) Duration of Prohibition.-The prohibition under subsection (a) shall cease to apply only if a joint resolution approving assistance for military or paramilitary operations in Syria is enacted.
(d) Quarterly Reports.-Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report on assistance provided to groups, organizations, movements, and individuals in Syria.
(e) Non-lethal Humanitarian Assistance Defined.-In this Act, the term "non-lethal humanitarian assistance" means humanitarian assistance that is not weapons, ammunition, or other equipment or material that is designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death.