Markey votes 'present' on Syria resolution over military expansion concerns

Markey said that he voted present because the current resolution could be interpreted to expand military action beyond reducing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons or deterring that use. 

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“The current version of the resolution goes beyond the president’s objective of responding to the use of chemical weapons to call for a broader U.S. political and military strategy in Syria that includes expanded support for various opposition groups, efforts to limit support for the Syrian regime from the Government of Iran and activities to isolate terrorist groups in Syria,” he said.

The freshman senator is in an awkward position on the Syrian resolution because his predecessor, now-Secretary of State John Kerry, is making the administration’s public case to take military action.

Markey indicated that he wouldn’t stay on the fence when the Syria resolution goes to the full Senate next week.

"I will be casting a yea or a nay on the Senate floor next week,” he told the Boston Globe after Wednesday’s vote. 

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