Cruz: Trump should make the case for military action in Syria

Cruz: Trump should make the case for military action in Syria
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWith religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again Interstate compacts aren't the right way to fix occupational licensing laws Texas Dem: ‘I don’t know what to believe’ about what Trump wants for wall MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday night called on President Trump to make the case to Congress for his administration to take military action in Syria after the U.S. struck at an airbase in the country in response to a deadly chemical attack this week, according to The New York Times.

"Any military action in Syria must be justified as protecting the vital national security interests of America – including decisive action to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists," Cruz said in a statement.

"I look forward to our Commander-in-Chief making the case to Congress and the American people how we should do so in the coming days," Cruz said.

Trump described the launch of nearly 60 missiles at a Syrian airbase on Thursday night as in the "vital national security interest" of the U.S., addressing the public roughly an hour after the missiles were launched from two Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean.

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“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said in nighttime remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where he is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping through Friday.

A number of lawmakers including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have described the U.S. strike on the Syrian airfield as a proportional response to Tuesday's chemical strike, which left scores of civilians dead, including women and children, but warned of further escalation.

Several lawmakers, including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners MORE (R-Ky.) and a number of Democrats, have called on Trump to seek congressional authorization for military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the U.S. has blamed for the gas attack, described as the worst in the country since 2013.

"The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate," Paul said in a statement on Thursday night. "Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different."