Obama calls for Congress to authorize military action - Tucson News Now

Obama calls for action, sends Syria resolution draft to Congress

President Barack Obama speaks from the White House's rose garden asking for approval from Congress for military strikes in Syria following the use of a chemical weapon that killed more than 1,400 Syrians. President Barack Obama speaks from the White House's rose garden asking for approval from Congress for military strikes in Syria following the use of a chemical weapon that killed more than 1,400 Syrians.
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(RNN) – President Barack Obama's desire for Congress-authorized military action in Syria was followed up Saturday night by a written proposal for action.

The Associated Press reported that the White House had sent Congress the draft for a resolution to the crisis in Syria, where it is believed President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people last week.

The resolution does not lay out a timeline for action but does authorize Obama to use the military as he deems "necessary and appropriate," the AP reported.

Speaking from the White House's rose garden Saturday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden by his side, Obama illustrated the need for military action and that he is prepared to give the order based on national security interests.

"I know well that we are weary of war," Obama said. "That's why we're not contemplating putting our troops in the middle (of a civil war). But we are the United States of America, and we can not - and must not - turn a blind eye to actions in Damascus. Our security and values mean that we cannot turn away."

Obama said he felt his office possessed the power to order a strike without Congress' input, but he feels a unified front on the issue is more important that immediate action.

"Our democracy is stronger when the people and their representatives stand together," Obama said. "I will seek the authorization from the American people's representatives in Congress. For the last several days, we have heard from the American people. They want to hear from Congress."

Congress is currently on a break, and Obama asked the members of both houses to consider the issue once they return Sept. 9.

Getting approval from Congress is a risky political move and could be problematic, especially in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. But the Senate could prove tricky as well, even though it is majority Democrat.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been particularly outspoken and told Fox News he would "do everything I can to stop the president. We should not engage in a war."

Paul also expressed his desire for Obama to seek Congressional approval, but was skeptical it would happen.

The U.S. has had aircraft carries armed with cruise missiles positioned off the coast of Syria for days in anticipation of orders to launch a strike against the country. Previous statements by Obama have alluded to a military strike to send the message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

"We will insist that an atrocity with chemical weapons must not only be investigated, it must be confronted," Obama said.

Obama previously called the attack that killed more than 1,400 Syrians "a challenge to the world," but he said a long-term military action was out of the questions, even if air strikes were ordered.

The Syrian government has denied making the attack, claiming the rebels who were killed gassed themselves. Paul also has expressed his belief that could be the case.

Syria has been in a state of civil war for more than two years.

British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement shortly after Obama finished speaking expressing his support for the president, but a proposal similar to the one Obama requested from Congress in was shot down last week by members of Great Britain's Parliament last week.

Anti-war protesters have been camped outside the White House for a week, and CNN reported the protests were within earshot of where the president was speaking.

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