McConnell Announces Opposition to Syria Attack

Tuesday, 10 Sep 2013 02:47 PM

By Lisa Barron

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After days of silence on the Obama administration's resolution to use military force in Syria, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is opposed to the motion.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican said, "I will be voting against this resolution. A vital national security risk is clearly not at play."

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"The president's proposal seems fundamentally flawed, since if it's too narrow, it may not deter [Syrian President] Assad's use of chemical weapons, but if it's too broad, it risks jeopardizing the security of these same stockpiles, essentially putting them into the hands of extremists," he added.

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A test vote on the resolution was originally due to take place on Wednesday, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed it after the possibility of a diplomatic solution, proposed by Russia, came to light Monday.

McConnell said the new plan to place Syria's chemical weapons stockpile under international control was worth "exploring" but that such an agreement is still "a long way off."

He also maintained that his opposition to a strike against Syria is not a move towards 'isolationism,' saying, "I've never been an isolationist, and a vote against this resolution shouldn't be confused by anyone as a turn in that direction."

McConnell continued, "But just as the most committed isolationist could be convinced of the need for intervention under the right circumstances when confronted with a threat, so too do the internationalists among us believe that all interventions are not created equal. And this proposal just does not stand up."

The three other congressional leaders, Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have all backed the resolution.

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