GOP senator wants vote before Trump uses force in Syria
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGrassroots political participation is under attack in Utah and GOP is fighting back Romney sworn in as senator Both sides play blame game on first day of shutdown MORE (R-Utah) is urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Freedom Caucus calls for Congress to work on shutdown through break Democrat previews Mueller questions for Trump’s AG nominee Trump inaugural committee spent ,000 on makeup for aides: report MORE to get congressional authorization before he uses military force to respond to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

“The use of chemical weapons absolutely requires a response from the United States,” Lee said in a statement. "But if that response is going to include military force, the president of the United States should come to Congress and ask for authorization before military force is used."

ADVERTISEMENT

The administration is weighing how to respond to the attack, which reportedly killed at least 70 people in a town controlled by opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

On Monday, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisSyria too complex to make decisions in 280 characters … even for a president US-backed forces in Syria say ISIS is in ‘final moments’ Pompeo: US withdrawal from Syria a 'tactical change' MORE would not rule out an airstrike in response to the alleged chemical attack. Trump separately said he would decide on the U.S. response “over the next 24 to 48 hours."
Last year, Trump responded militarily to reported chemical weapons use in Syria, ordering the U.S. military to launch Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield believed to be the launching point of that attack.
 
Republicans, at the time, largely dismissed the need for Trump to get approval from Congress, characterizing it as a limited, one-time strike that they supported. 
 
But Lee, who is more libertarian-minded, tends to break from his party on foreign policy. For example, he teamed up earlier this year with Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDem senator jokes about holding drinking game for Trump's primetime address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Opening day for the 116th Congress | Dems take control of House | Historic day for Pelosi Trump complains Senate isn't confirming ambassadors MORE (D-Conn.) to try to limit the U.S. military's support for the Saudi air campaign in Yemen.