"I hope that he [Paul] will consider the bloodshed and carnage in Syria as he continues to hold up this official action by the United States Senate," said Durbin.
Paul’s spokesman told The Hill on Tuesday night that Paul intends to continue blocking the legislation because he opposes the way Democratic leadership is attempting to pass the resolution swiftly. The method Democrats are using is called unanimous consent, which does not require debate or the actual presence of senators for the vote.
"Senator Paul does not believe sweeping foreign policy resolutions should be passed in the shadow of darkness without debate or public votes,” Paul’s spokeswoman, Moira Bagley, told The Hill. “There needs to be a discussion about whether or not this resolution is another precursor to an unconstitutional war.”
Paul also opposed a resolution in July to authorize U.S. military action in Libya, in part because he believed President Obama had already overstepped his constitutional powers by participating in a United Nations mission against then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Durbin insisted, however, that the Senate must send a unified message to the Syrian people that America supports their efforts to throw off the dictatorial regime.
"The people deserve the message to know that the people of the United States through their elected representatives in the Senate understand their plight, stand behind them and will work to bring justice to their country,” said Durbin.
In response, Paul’s spokeswoman told The Hill that if appropriate debate time is afforded to the resolution and a real vote is scheduled, the junior senator from Kentucky will likely drop his objection.
"Sen. Durbin should speak to Majority Leader [Harry] Reid about scheduling floor time and votes for the full Senate to discuss this matter,” she said.
In his speech, Durbin called for other actions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which has used violence to crack down on rebellions against his rule.
He admonished China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa for holding up sanctions against Syria in the U.N. Security Council, saying, "I find it hard to imagine how some of these countries in light of their own history could ignore the obvious, the killing of innocent people in the streets of Syria."
Durbin said he promised a group of Syrian-Americans he met with in Illinois last Saturday that he would do the best he can to address the situation in Syria. He also advocated passing legislation sponsored by Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDocumentary to be released on Gabby Giffords's recovery from shooting Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters MORE (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to further sanction Syria by penalizing those who buy its oil.