Senate panel approves military strike in Syria

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee debates the language of the measure approving a military strike in Syria. Screenshot from CSPAN.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee debates the language of the measure approving a military strike in Syria. Screenshot from CSPAN.

By Jessica Huseman
@JessicaHuseman

Pres. Obama is one step closer to military action in Syria after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved of a measure to respond militarily to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on Wednesday.

The vote, which came down at 10-7 with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) voting present. While the bill received bipartisan support, it also received bipartisan disapproval. Two Democrats — Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Tom Udall of New Mexico — along with five Republicans — including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky — voted no on the measure.

The committee struggled to settle on the wording of the resolution due to differing opinions on the duration and nature of the military strikes. In the afternoon, the panel rejected a resolution by Paul that would have declared that the president only has the authority to act unilaterally when the nation faces attack, and instead approved more interventionist language by McCain and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

McCain insisted on more latitude for the military, in order to inflict the most damage on the current Syrian government. The language of the McCain-Coons version notes, “absent decisive changes to the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria, sufficient incentives do not yet exist” to urge a political solution to the civil war raging in Syria, and commented, “it is the policy of the United States to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria,” urging “a comprehensive U.S. strategy” to not only to remove the weapons of mass destruction from Assad’s regime, but also to strengthen “elements of the Syrian opposition.”

The measure will now move to the full Senate for a vote.

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Posted by on September 4, 2013. Filed under Military,Recent News,Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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