WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Monday afternoon that debate on the the authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels could begin Tuesday and described the legislative language as providing “much more accountability.”
Reports have indicated that House Republicans will produce legislation early this week to provide the Obama administration authority to arm the Free Syrian Army, along with reporting requirements — Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel will be mandated to update Congress 15 days before the armament begins and provide additional status reports every 90 days.
“Read it, it clarifies in there, this is not authorization, this is just doing Title X,” McCarthy said, he added that there might be an opportunity after November to discuss a broader military force authorization.
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to constitute a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of United States’ Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where hostilities are clearly indicated by circumstances,” Politico — which obtained an advanced draft of the legislation Monday — quoted.
McCarthy anticipated that the Title X authority to arm the Syrian rebels would pass on a bipartisan basis.
“Anytime you deal — especially in a situation this serious, I think you come as an American, not from a party perspective,” the California Republican said.
The legislation is likely to be included as an amendment to the continuing resolution to fund the government, according to a GOP aide.
When asked if he expects to need Democratic votes in order to pass the continuing resolution, McCarthy said he always looks as continuing resolutions as bipartisan and added that he does not anticipate that Democrats would vote against Obama.