September 03, 2013

Corker: New Syria Authorization Limits Scope and Duration of Military Action Against Assad Regime in Syria

Legislation Strictly Prohibits American “Boots on the Ground,” Requires Report from Obama Administration on U.S. Syria Strategy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today said the agreement he reached this evening with Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., limits the scope and duration of a congressional authorization for the use of military force against the Assad regime in Syria. The new draft legislation being circulated to committee members this evening would strictly prohibit American “boots on the ground,” limit the duration of any military action to 60 days, and separately require a report from the Obama administration detailing U.S. support for vetted, moderate opposition groups in Syria.

“Our negotiations have led to a much narrower authorization that provides for the appropriate use of force while limiting the scope and duration of military action, prohibiting boots on the ground, and requiring the Obama administration to submit their broader plan for Syria,” said Corker. “I look forward to the input from my colleagues on the committee and in Congress who will have an opportunity to weigh in on what we’ve produced. This is one of the most serious matters that comes before the Congress, so as we proceed to a potentially defining vote next week, the president and his administration must continue to vigorously make their case to the American people.”

The committee is expected to hold a markup on the new authorization language tomorrow following a classified hearing on intelligence related to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. Today the committee heard testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

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