Senate

GOP senator wants vote before Trump uses force in Syria

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is urging President Trump 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.”

{mosads}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 Mattis 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 Murphy (D-Conn.) to try to limit the U.S. military’s support for the Saudi air campaign in Yemen. 
Tags Chris Murphy Donald Trump James Mattis Mike Lee

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