parliament

More House members urge White House for vote on Syria intervention

Members of the House of Representatives have signed two separate letters urging President Barack Obama to seek congressional authorization before he launches a military strike against Syria.

In addition to the 140 signatories from both parties on the letter from Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) penned a separate missive yesterday that received support from 53 House Democrats.

“While we understand that as Commander in Chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the constitutional obligation and power to approve military force, even if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) have not been attacked or threatened with an attack,” wrote Lee in her letter to President Obama. “As such, we strongly urge you to seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any U.S. military engagement to this complex crisis.”

Lee expressed concern for human rights violations and “horrific” loss of life in Syria, but she explained that this “should not draw us into an unwise war.” The letter also lends support to efforts in the United Nations Security Council to build an “international consensus condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons” and any potential response.

UK’s Cameron loses Syria vote, Obama to push forward anyway

David Cameron

President Barack Obama finds himself in a tough position on military action his administration is planning against the Syrian government. The White House had been relying on British support for an attack against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but they were dealt a blow on Thursday evening that could undermine the international legitimacy of their plans for military action.

During an emergency session yesterday, the British Parliament rejected Prime Minister David Cameron’s push for intervention in Syria. Though the vote was non-binding, Cameron has said that he will respect the “views of the British people.”

The vote was also an embarrassment for Cameron, who was unable to convince skeptical members of his own coalition — the 30 Tories and nine Liberal Democrats who voted against intervention — to back his call for military strikes against Assad. The vote is politically damaging to Cameron as there is talk that Labor-led opposition, which smells blood in the water, could call for a vote of “no-confidence” against the Prime Minister’s coalition government.

Your Daily Jefferson

“Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.” - Thomas Jefferson (1775)


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