Tags: Syria | boehner | obama | congress | syria

Boehner: Obama Must Consult Congress Before Acting in Syria

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 04:28 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Speaker of the House John Boehner called on President Barack Obama Monday to make a decision on the Syrian conflict, but not without the approval of congress first. 

Obama said previously that the United States would only intervene if it was discovered that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in its conflict with the rebel forces. It is believed that the Syrian government is responsible for an attack Wednesday, in which 1,300 people died due to a chemical agent that was used in a rocket attack.

"The Syrian regime has blatantly crossed President Obama's red line, the White House has acknowledged, by using chemical weapons on its people," the Ohio Republican wrote in a statement. "The options facing the president are complicated, have far-reaching ramifications, and may require significant resources."

"That's why, if he chooses to act, the president must explain his decision publicly, clearly, and resolutely," he added.

However, Boehner warns, that the president must not bypass the process of conferring with congress before acting militarily.

"The president is commander-in-chief. With that power comes obligations," the Speaker wrote. "One, of course, is to consult with Congress on the options he sees as a viable response.

"This consultation has not taken place, but it is an essential part of the process. And meaningful consultation should happen before any military action is taken."

Boehner also explains that Obama must make a clear case to the American people as to why the United States ought to intervene in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

"More than just to Congress, the president has an obligation to the American people to explain the rationale for the course of action he chooses; why it's critical to our national security; and what the broader strategy is to achieve stability," he wrote.

This is especially important, the Speaker explains, since "surveys have shown that the American public is hesitant to intervene in Syria."

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that only 25 percent of Americans support military action in Syria, while 46 percent do not, even if the Syrian government was found using chemical weapons against its own people.

"This is understandable, and it underscores the need for the president to fully explain what is at stake and outline why he believes action is necessary," Boehner concludes.

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