Bachmann joins liberal Dems on bill denying arms to Syria

Joining her on the bill are fellow Tea Party Republicans Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, liberal Democrats Rick Nolan of Minnesota and Peter Welch of Vermont, and Reps. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.). The bill was introduced by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), one of the least conservative Republicans in Congress.

“This bipartisan legislation will ensure we can maintain our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to support the Syrian people without getting drawn into another engagement,” Gibson said. “Moving forward, it is vital that Congress be a part of this debate and provide authorization prior to any hostile action or escalation of our involvement.”

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) partnered with Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on lnearly identical legislation, barring the Obama administration from “supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria,” last week. The bill has an exemption for “non-lethal humanitarian assistance.”

Neither bill is likely to get much traction, despite polls showing 70 percent of Americans are wary of arming the rebels. Murphy, Udall and Paul were the only “no” votes when legislation to arm the rebels cleared the Senate Foreign Relations panel by a 15-3 vote last month.

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