Congressman Garamendi’s Statement on Airstrikes Against Syria

Apr 7, 2017 Issues: Military and Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC-Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s airstrikes against Syria:

“Bashar al-Assad is responsible for a heinous attack which is wholly outside the norms of international behavior. Syria’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a violation of international law, Syria’s legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and UN Security Council Resolution 2118.

“The strikes carried out last night were a measured response to a horrific act. However, any further escalation will require a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) from Congress. The Administration justifies current US military operations in Syria against the Islamic State under the 2001 AUMF against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. That authorization clearly does not cover the use of force against the Syrian government.

“In 2013, Mr. Trump expressed the view as a private citizen that the use of military force against the Assad regime would require Congressional approval. Now that he is president, I hope he holds the same perspective regarding the importance of Congress’ prerogative under Article 1 of the Constitution. Congressional debate should be fully informed by a clear statement from the Administration on what it seeks to achieve through the use of military force and a comprehensive strategy to achieve those goals. I look forward to reviewing these objectives and having a vigorous debate in the coming days.”