The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today held a committee business meeting to address the potential authorization of use of military force in Syria and proceeded to discharge from committee a bill for full consideration of the Senate that would grant the President authorization to use military force in Syria.
Sen. Rand Paul, a member of the committee, offered the following statement in response.
"We are told there is no military solution in Syria, yet we are embarking on a military solution. The President has failed to demonstrate a compelling American national interest in the Syrian civil war.
"To be sure, there is a tragedy of a horrific nature in Syria, but I am unconvinced that a limited Syrian bombing campaign will achieve its intended goals. I frankly think that bombing Syria increases the likelihood of additional gas attacks, may increase attacks on Israel and turkey, may increase civilian deaths, may increase instability in the Middle East and may draw Russia and Iran further into this civil war.
"By pre-announcing a limited attack, we pre-announce limited effect.
"Our brave young soldiers should not be asked to risk their lives and limbs in a civil war with no certain ally. On the one hand, we have a tyrant who gassed his own people. On the other hand, we have radical Islamists and al-Qaida. When no compelling American interests exist, we should not intervene. No compelling interests exist in Syria."
During the meeting, Sen. Paul offered the following amendment for a vote.
It is the sense of the Senate that the President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
The committee voted down this amendment 14-4.
Sen. Paul intends to press this issue in the full Senate next week as well. "It should be made explicit that the Constitution invested the power to go to war in Congress. Since the Administration refuses to say it will abide by this vote, win or lose, Congress should send a clear message," he continued.