Nadler says Obama needs Congress's approval for Syria strike

“The American people deserve to have this decision debated and made in the open with all the facts and arguments laid out for public review and debate, followed by a congressional vote,” he said.

He said if President Obama believes action in Syria must happen, he should immediately call Congress back into session. Members return from August recess Sept. 9.

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Sixteen House Democrats have signed on to a letter making the same argument. More than 100 members of Congress have signed the letter spearheaded by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.).

But Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), a former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, earlier this week said Obama did not need authorization from Congress to strike Syria.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this week they have been consulting with members who have an interest in the situation.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, National Intelligence Director James Clapper, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice are expected to brief members Thursday evening, according to multiple reports.

Nadler did not make clear in his statement his position on action in Syria if it were to come to a vote.

He voted against the U.S. invasion of Iraq during the George W. Bush administration.