Summary

Draft Legislation Proposed by President Obama Authorizing the Use of the US Armed Forces in Syria.

President Obama sent to... Read More

Status

Date Introduced
Sep 1, 2013

Co-Sponsors

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Nation

118 Supporting
2832 Opposing
4% 96%

State: CA

10 Supporting
168 Opposing
6% 94%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
5 Opposing
0% 100%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

August 31, 2013 - 1:52 P.M. EDT Statement by the President on Syria THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see -- hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children -- young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government. This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm. In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted. Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I'm confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out. Our military has positioned assets in the region. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the Chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I'm prepared to give that order. But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the President of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I've made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress. Over the last several days, we've heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning, I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they've agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session. In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America's national security. And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote. I'm confident in the case our government has made without waiting for U.N. inspectors. I'm comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable. As a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even as the Prime Minister supported taking action. Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual. And this morning, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy. A country faces few decisions as grave as using military force, even when that force is limited. I respect the views of those who call for caution, particularly as our country emerges from a time of war that I was elected in part to end. But if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the costs of doing nothing. Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What's the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world's people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced? Make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare. If we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorist who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide? We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us. So just as I will take this case to Congress, I will also deliver this message to the world. While the U.N. investigation has some time to report on its findings, we will insist that an atrocity committed with chemical weapons is not simply investigated, it must be confronted. I don't expect every nation to agree with the decision we have made. Privately we’ve heard many expressions of support from our friends. But I will ask those who care about the writ of the international community to stand publicly behind our action. And finally, let me say this to the American people: I know well that we are weary of war. We’ve ended one war in Iraq. We’re ending another in Afghanistan. And the American people have the good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military. In that part of the world, there are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of the Arab Spring have unleashed forces of change that are going to take many years to resolve. And that's why we’re not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war. Instead, we’ll continue to support the Syrian people through our pressure on the Assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people. But we are the United States of America, and we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus. Out of the ashes of world war, we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning. And we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depends on the responsibilities of nations. We aren’t perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities. So to all members of Congress of both parties, I ask you to take this vote for our national security. I am looking forward to the debate. And in doing so, I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment. Ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time; it’s about who we are as a country. I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad, and now is the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments. We do what we say. And we lead with the belief that right makes might -- not the other way around. We all know there are no easy options. But I wasn’t elected to avoid hard decisions. And neither were the members of the House and the Senate. I’ve told you what I believe, that our security and our values demand that we cannot turn away from the massacre of countless civilians with chemical weapons. And our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together. I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation. Thanks very much. END 2:02 P.M. EDT http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/31/statement-president-syria

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The Administration 1 year ago

September 3, 2013 – New York – AJC is calling on the U.S. Congress to support a resolution authorizing President Obama to respond forcefully to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Congress is expected to debate and vote on the measure next week. AJC President Stanley Bergman and Executive Director David Harris, in a letter sent to all members of the Senate and House of Representatives today, expressed the global advocacy organization’s “support for the decision by President Obama to take limited military action against the Syrian regime in response to the overwhelming evidence of the regime’s use of chemical weapons targeted at Syrian civilians.” AJC pointed out that the latest atrocity, committed on August 21 and resulting in the deaths of at least 1,400 people, “constituted a material breach of international norms, including the Geneva Protocol of 1925, prohibiting the use of chemical weapons.” The Assad regime’s latest atrocity “also defied President Obama’s warning that the use of such weapons would cross a ‘red line’ – an act of defiance that, for reasons both profoundly moral and strategic, demands a decisive response,” AJC added. The AJC leaders cautioned that “acquiescence in the face of the crimes evidently committed by the Assad regime would doubtless have wide-ranging consequences for U.S. interests and influence in the Middle East and around the world; invite further tests of American resolve and capacity to respond to declared threats; heighten instability in a volatile region; and amount to an abandonment of international responsibility to protect civilians from the use of weapons of mass destruction.” AJC has monitored closely, and with increasing concern, the conflict in Syria, and its ramifications for Syria’s neighbors. The organization urged members of Congress to adopt a resolution that would “respond forcefully to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Such a resolution, we firmly believe, would uphold American principles and advance American interests in the Middle East and beyond.” - See more at: http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=7oJILSPwFfJSG&b=8478375&ct=13257267¬oc=1#sthash.OZVhURR8.dpuf

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September 3, 2013 - AIPAC urges Congress to grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime's further use of unconventional weapons. The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children. Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass. This is a critical moment when America must also send a forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hezbollah -- both of whom have provided direct and extensive military support to Assad. The Syrian regime and its Iranian ally have repeatedly demonstrated that they will not respect civilized norms. That is why America must act, and why we must prevent further proliferation of unconventional weapons in this region. America's allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote. This critical decision comes at a time when Iran is racing toward obtaining nuclear capability. Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country's credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies. AIPAC maintains that it is imperative to adopt the resolution to authorize the use of force, and take a firm stand that the world’s most dangerous regimes cannot obtain and use the most dangerous weapons. http://www.aipac.org/resources/aipac-publications/publication?pubpath=PolicyPolitics/Press/AIPAC%20Statements/2013/08/AIPAC%20STATEMENT%20ON%20SYRIA%20RESOLUTION

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Organizations Opposing

FCNL supports an effective way to put a stop to the use of chemical weapons. Military intervention will not be effective to this end. For more info, see our letter to Congress: http://fcnl.org/issues/middle_east/congress_us_military_intervention_would_widen_war/

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Time is of the essence. We have been in the streets all over the country. The opposition to a new war is everywhere. This forced the administration to step back from imminent bombings. But the danger also exists for an even larger war against Syria as Obama seeks to make a deal with right-wing hawks like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others. Now is the time for the people to step up pressure on Congress and demand that they vote NO to any resolution authorizing a military attack on Syria. http://www.answercoalition.org/national/news/action-alert-tell-congress.html

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ANSWER Coalition
1 year ago

With another apparent use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against the rebels that has killed civilians, the White House seems poised to take military action in Syria. Call the White House comment line now at 202-456-1111 and say: "I oppose military intervention and military support in Syria. I support massive efforts for a political solution and continued humanitarian aid." Americans strongly oppose the use of troops in another war in the Middle East. The U.S. would likely seek NATO support in an air campaign with bombing and missile strikes. If the goal of the bombing was to destroy the capacity of the Syrian government to use chemical weapons, that would be hard to achieve. Experts believe that we do not have the intelligence of the location of all the chemical weapons. Please call now, 202-456-1111, as the President may make decisions soon. While arming the rebels may seem a sensible approach, not all the rebels are the same. In fact, some are supportive of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Additionally, providing military support is like throwing gasoline on the fire and does not encourage a political settlement, which is the only way the violence will end. With over 100,000 deaths, 4 million people displaced from their homes and the likely use of chemical weapons, the U.S. does need to take urgent action. History proves that the military approach will not bring a solution. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey mentioned recently that the solution is not a military one. Hence, the U.S. needs to continue working with Russia to hold the repeatedly delayed peace talks and must add all key regional actors to those talks. Other diplomatic avenues need to be traveled to produce a negotiated settlement. The U.S. should support the International Criminal Court in arresting those committing war crimes such as the use of chemical weapons. And lastly, continued humanitarian aid and aid to refugees is needed to assist civilians. With the 50th anniversary of Peace Action supporter, Reverend Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" this week, we know the power of nonviolence. Only nonviolent acts will solve the conflict within Syria. Call the President now at 202-456-1111. http://org.salsalabs.com/o/161/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1281471

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Peace Action 1 year ago

To President Obama, As concerned citizens of the United States and as firm believers in a peaceful world, we urge you to reconsider military intervention in Syria. Not only is the American public opposed to embarking upon yet another war, intervention is counterproductive to ending the conflict in the region by further instigating a cycle of violence, retaliation and bloodshed. There are already 100,000 dead Syrians, and we cannot have any more. We oppose the violence inflicted upon the Syrians by the Assad regime, but do not believe that military intervention is the key to peace. Instead, we urge you to take the following steps: 1) Broker an immediate ceasefire and hold regional talks: The goal of any intervention should be to protect the lives of civilians. With much of the ground fighting in Syria taking place in densely populated areas, bombing by the U.S. and coalition forces will inevitably lead to the deaths of innocent Syrians and civilian bystanders. Additionally, the obvious brutality by the Assad regime towards innocent civilians will not stop with bombs; instead, the regime will retaliate against innocent Syrians. That’s why the U.S. should broker regional peace talks with Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. It should call upon the United Nations to demand an immediate ceasefire and consider the option of peacekeeping forces in Syria. 2) Prioritize humanitarian aid: Over 2 million Syrian refugees are flooding into the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The United States must redirect military dollars to help the hungry and homeless civilians fleeing violence. We need to pay particular attention to the over 1 million children who are refugees, and the systematic sexual assault of women and girls by combatants, who use rape as "a weapon of war". 3) Uplift the voices of the peaceful, non-violent resistance by including them in negotiations. We must highlight and honor the peaceful forms of civil resistance by Syrians who are opposed to all forms of violence. We must make the peace process inclusive by inviting these voices into the conversation, and give financial support to spread their efforts. 4) Halt immediate arms sales to regimes throughout the Middle East: The United States must stop engaging in weapons trades with regimes in the area that only bolster violent conflict and oppress their populations. While Assad’s apparent chemical attack is abhorrent and a gross violation of international law, the United States must also stop engaging in the trade of dangerous and illegal weapons such as cluster bombs. We hope you will resist the calls for military intervention and instead help bring an end to the violence that is plaguing the Syrian people. http://codepink.salsalabs.com/o/424/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=7155

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CODEPINK 1 year ago

We had our monthly meeting on September 3rd. The vote to oppose draft legislation authorizing military action in Syria was unanimous. Not one attendee voted to support. There is no compelling national interest to get involved in Syria.

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9/4/13 - Statement of Anna Galland, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, on the member vote: “MoveOn members, like the majority of Americans, oppose military intervention in Syria and want Congress to reject the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution. Following MoveOn members’ overwhelming 73% vote to oppose the war, we are launching a major effort calling on Congress to vote ‘no’ on the President’s request for an Authorization for Use of Military Force in Syria. “We will mobilize to make sure our members’ and allies’ voices are heard in Washington and will work to prevent this nation from getting on the slippery slope to another ill-advised and unnecessary war. We will join with allies in holding national days of action, urge MoveOn members to contact their members of Congress to have their voices heard, and use a variety of other tactics, including paid media. “We have seen the rushed march to war before. We cannot allow it again. Congress, and the nation, should not be forced into a binary debate over strikes or nothing. In response to the tragic reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, the US needs to lead in the way in engaging with the international community, while rigorously exploring alternatives to military action, including negotiations, economic sanctions, diplomacy, and promotion of humanitarian aid.” http://front.moveon.org/moveons-8-million-members-vote-overwhelmingly-to-oppose-military-action-in-syria/#.UinluxY0ZjY

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Users Supporting

I support The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because... I support it but with frustration of not doing the job right. My brother was a war hero in Vietnam and a West Point graduate. He lost his life for his country. I have a journal with daily activity he put in each day. He was very frustrated with the politics of war. I had another brother who served 3 tours of Vietnam. I served during that time. By doing the job right , I think Iran should be on the list as our biggest threat.

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WV
3
Anonymous1395627
WV-3
1 year ago

My Opinion on Military Action in Syria First and foremost, I would like to state that I support the current Presidential Administration and that I completely agree with the stance of my local congressional representative on this current Syrian issue that we are facing during the beginning of this fall 2013. From California’s 19th District, ultimately representing the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, Zoe Lofgren has served my district extremely well for the past eighteen years! She listens to her constituents, really, no joke. She is mature, responsible, patient, and most importantly, in it for the “long haul” by always looking at the bigger picture and considering all options. Zoe has always had a special place in her heart for Veterans and supports programs that support Veteran funding like HUD-VASH and more. Being a combat Veteran with two tours of duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, I feel I have an obligation to voice my opinion on the military action topic and to provide a more fully represented body. I understand.... This message block only accepts minimal characters and did not fit my 700 plus word document that I prepared prior to exploring this...

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CA
19
Anonymous2843644
CA-19
1 year ago

I support The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because it is imperative for the President Assad to know that his regimes acts carry consequences. The world CANNOT stand outside the fence and simply witness the carnage that is taking place inside Syria. Neighboring countires are being shaken with the overwhelming amount of refugees crossing borders. If there are sound plans for conducting this operation, if we know exactly how our intervention is going to help bring peace to the region, I fully support President's Obama request to take military action in Syria. God Bless America!

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PR
0
Anonymous476328
PR-0
1 year ago

The large scale murder of civilians must be opposed. Ultimately all diplomacy depends on the actions a country is willing to put behind it's words. I opposed invading Afghanistan and Iraq because of the difficulty of the task involved. Although Syria is also very difficult it is different, we can degrade the Syrian army's ability to kill civilians. We need to authorize the President to use military force.

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CO
7
gabehamilton
CO-7
1 year ago

I support The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because...Someone has to stand up to the monstrosity in Syria to let the despots know they can't ignore world laws without consequences. It will also add a little muscle for these regimes to take the US seriously. The world needs an example to be set.

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CT
1
cxhaug
CT-1
1 year ago

I support The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because we do not need to lose more lives for selfish means!

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AR
1
TanyaBoozer
AR-1
1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because...I oppose killing of humans period. I support leaders who look for the well being of all humans and that means finding non-violent Solutions via communication. I absolutely do not wish to see killing ordered from a president nor from staff representing a country of people. No killing by leaders is what I wish to see, and with the US's influence in the world, the US president and politicians should most reflect on how to take care of their own country and be a peaceful example in the world. A leader of humanity is in support of life. A fair country allows the people to vote on more issues. I would like US foreign affairs to be put before the people for public votes. I can say that as a US citizen I feel I have no say in foreign affairs. I absolutely think the US should focus on issues in the country and not abraod - especially not instigating and supporting war activity. It affects my life because people in the world wish the US would stop war action around the globe and other humans think the US citizens have say in this and support the US wars- I do not.

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OR
5
Awill
OR-5
1 year ago

I oppose The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because...military action will only lead to more death on all sides. Also leading to more hatred of the US.

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TX
4
lilbit
TX-4
1 year ago

I oppose The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because... We do not need to be the leader of the world when our leadership is the amount of civilians we have killed. Iraq is now in anarchy and Afghanistan is soon to follow and all we have to show for our dead and injured sons and daughters is the huge numbers of civilian men, women and children killed. Lets not walk into this blindly with the Patriot beating the drum again.

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CO
2
tommartinez
CO-2
1 year ago

I oppose The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because I have been following the Syria conflict closely as part of my work, and I am convinced that military action is not the best way to hold Assad's government accountable for its likely use of chemical weapons. The U.S. should proceed by using other accountability measures, such as supporting the implementation of chemical weapons treaties in the region and supporting the prosecution of individual war criminals. More violence is not what Syria needs right now.

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OR
5
EC327
OR-5
1 year ago

I oppose The President's Draft Legislation Authorizing Military Action in Syria because... Iran says if we send even 1 air strike, they will take it as aggression and make us a war we won't be able to get out of. We can't afford a war because the congress is trying to take away our Social Security and SNAP, and other domestic issues. Like always it will be take any bit of help for the deserving poor and sending down the rat hole of a war machine. Also we Know it's all about oil! If this took place in an interior of Africa, I doubt we would even be hearing about those "suffering people".

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KS
4
luvratts
KS-4
1 year ago

Bill Summary

Draft Legislation Proposed by President Obama Authorizing the Use of the US Armed Forces in Syria.



President Obama sent to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate a letter on Aug. 31 with draft legislation that would authorize use of the US military "in connection with the conflict in Syria." The proposed legislation states:



"The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria in order to -- (1) prevent or deter the use or proliferation (including the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors) within, to or from Syria, of any weapons of mass destruction, including chemical or biological weapons or components of or materials used in such weapons; or (2) protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons." (Read the entire draft.)



President Obama said he would seek Congressional approval for US military action in Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons. He specified that any military involvement would be of "limited duration and scope" and that "we would not put boots on the ground." (Read his remarks.) The Obama Administration released an unclassified summary of the attack in the Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21 killing at least 1,429 Syrians, including 426 children. (Read the assessment.)



**Resolution now pending in the Senate. Weigh in on SJ Res 21.**



Update: On Sept. 4, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution to "authorize the limited and tailored use of the US Armed Forces against Syria," which would limit such an action to 60 days and prohibit using American troops for ground combat. The Senate will begin voting on this resolution on Sept. 9, 2013.

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