Tags: rand | paul | syria | filibuster

Rand Paul Backs Off From Syria Filibuster Threat

Image: Rand Paul Backs Off From Syria Filibuster Threat

Sunday, 08 Sep 2013 11:21 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday he would not filibuster the president's request to launch strikes against Syria but that he would insist Barack Obama abide by Congress's demands if it votes to prohibit military intervention in the civil war.

The Kentucky Republican told "Fox News Sunday" a filibuster would only delay a vote authorizing use of force.

"I will insist there is full debate on this and I will insist that I get an amendment and my amendment will say that the vote is binding -- that the president cannot, if we vote him down, decide to go to war anyway," Paul said.

"That's the way I interpret the Constitution, and I will insist on at least one vote where we say, 'Hey guys, this is not political show, this is not constitutional theater, this is a binding vote,'" Paul said.

Asked if he would support impeaching Obama if he disregarded the will of Congress, Paul cited several examples in which he believed the president had already done so, including the recess appointments of controversial nominees.

"Whether you impeach someone is a different question and is obviously a very big one, so I wouldn’t make a judgment on that," Paul said.

"But I would say the Constitution was intended to let Congress initiate war and the president execute war, and I don't think any of that's changed," Paul said.

If the U.S. strikes targets intending to destroy chemical weapons used by President Bashar Assad, Paul said he was concerned the attack could backfire.

"If we go in on the side of rebels, we'll be going in on the side of al-Qaida and most of us think we have been fighting al-Qaida for ten or 12 years now, so it's a hard obstacle to overcome," Paul said.

"My question to the administration is, if you bomb Assad, will it be more likely or less likely that the chemical weapons will become unsecured and they could go to rogue elements such as al-Qaida, which is fighting with the rebels against the Assad government," Paul said.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and suggested the nation and Congress are war weary because of the post September 11 battles waged in Afghanistan and Iraq by the Bush administration.

"That is an absolutely understandable sentiment, given all the sacrifice and investment the United States has made and our armed forces have made for the last 11 and 12 years," McDonough said.

"So it’s absolutely an understandable sentiment, and that’s why what the president has in mind here, and that we’re consulting with Congress on, is a limited, targeted, consequential action," McDonough said.

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