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On August 30, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed high confidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons against rebel forces. Given their historically hostile position towards Israel, it is important for the United States to not turn a blind eye to President Assad's regime.
However, we must proceed with extreme caution in this situation. While I'm concerned with the use of chemical weapons and deeply troubled by the attacks against innocent civilians, we must have a thoughtful debate over the merits, goals and consequences of U.S. military involvement in that country. It is unacceptable for the Obama Administration to once again proceed alone in its actions when the law clearly mandates a role for Congress.
That is why I joined over 100 of my colleagues in signing a letter on July 28, 2013 to the Obama Administration urging them to get the approval of Congress before using military force in Syria. Additionally, I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2501, the Congressional Accountability and Oversight in Syria Act. If enacted into law, this bill would prohibit military operations in Syria without Congressional approval. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am continuing to closely monitor the situation in Syria and expect the President to receive Congressional approval before launching an attack.