House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Congress to return to town to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Congress to return to town to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force. | AP Photo
Pelosi wants House hauled back to debate Syria resolution
By HEATHER CAYGLE 04/07/17 09:23 AM EDT Updated 04/07/17 10:21 AM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on Republican leaders to haul lawmakers back to the Capitol to debate President Donald Trump’s decision to launch missile strikes against Syria.
The House wrapped up legislative work Thursday with many lawmakers leaving town for a planned two-week recess. Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the air strikes, deployed in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s deadly chemical attack against his own people, changes the dynamic completely.
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“The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Friday morning. “Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.”
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AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, said there would be no change to the current schedule.
"We have nothing to say beyond our statement last night," Strong wrote in an email.
Ryan's statement called the strikes "appropriate and just" and did not say Trump needed permission from Congress for further attacks against the Syrian regime.
"I look forward to the administration further engaging Congress in this effort," Ryan said.
Congressional leaders were largely supportive of Trump’s decision to launch the missiles Thursday night but Democrats, including Pelosi, said the next steps must be debated and approved by Congress.
“As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes,” Pelosi wrote. “The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence.”
Libertarians and liberal Democrats alike criticized Trump’s decision to go ahead with the strikes without first seeking approval from Congress, calling the move unconstitutional.
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President Barack Obama tried in 2013 to get congressional authorization for strikes against the Assad regime but Congress never acted on a resolution and Obama ultimately abandoned the idea.
Several Republicans who sharply criticized Obama in 2013 for considering the strikes without congressional approval enthusiastically rallied around Trump's action Thursday night.
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