Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Friday called on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to reconvene the just-recessed Congress for debate on the United States’ Thursday night airstrikes on a Syrian military airbase.
Shortly after Thursday night’s 60-missile strike, President Donald Trump read a statement which proclaimed that he ordered the attack in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launching chemical attacks on innocent Syrian civilians on Tuesday.
Early Friday morning Pelosi tweeted out a letter to Speaker Ryan in which she writes, “I am writing to request that you call the House back in session immediately to debate any decision to place our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”
The letter continues:
Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on his own people places him outside the circle of civilized human behavior. Assad also continues to attack his own people with conventional weapons. Meanwhile, Russia props up the Assad regime and enables its brutal war crimes to continue.
The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty. Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.
As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria.
Directly following the U.S. airstrikes, Pelosi responded with condemnation of the Syrian government’s chemical and other attacks on its own people. She stated, in part, “Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons. If the President intends to escalate the U.S. military’s involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is tailored to meet the threat and prevent another open-ended war in the Middle East.”
Overall reaction to the U.S. strikes has been mixed on both sides of the aisle. Republican Sen. Rand Paul has condemned the attacks as “illegal” and “unconstitutional.” Sen. Ted Cruz has expressed great anticipation to hear Trump make the case for military action in Syria and said he is “encouraged” by the Trump Administration’s foreign policy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the strikes “the right thing to do.” Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government.”
Congress recessed on Thursday for a two-week Easter break. Pelosi is calling on Ryan to call members right back.
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