GOP rep: Trump doesn’t need congressional approval for military action in Syria

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel Kinzinger GOP lawmaker decries 'send her back' chants: 'This ugliness must end' House panel advances bill to protect elections from foreign interference GOP lawmakers say Trump wrong to criticize Biden in Japan MORE (R-Ill.) on Tuesday said he doesn’t believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE needs to seek congressional approval before taking military action in response to the recent chemical attack in Syria.

“Look, if he came to Congress, obviously I’d support it. I don’t think he needs to,” Kinzinger said while citing the War Powers Act on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I think on something that’s limited like this he has the authority to act, especially on an issue like enforcing the nonuse of chemical weapons,” he continued. "I think Congress would be supportive, though.”


The comments come after a reported chemical weapons attack early Sunday killed dozens of people — including women and children — in the rebel-controlled town of Douma, Syria.

Trump said Monday he would decide how the U.S. would respond to the chemical weapons attack “over the next 24 to 48 hours.” He also suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, “may” share responsibility for the attack.

Russia brushed aside claims of the chemical attack, calling them a “fabrication.”

Last weekend’s chemical attack came almost a year to the day after Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to another chemical attack that killed more than 80 people.

Kinzinger said Tuesday that he believes Trump’s response a year ago was the right move and called for a similar action this time around.

"Congress is not commander in chief, there's one person who is commander in chief, and that's the president," Kinzinger said. "Our job is to give financial resources to execute these kinds of missions and to declare if a state of war exists according to the Constitution." 

Other lawmakers, including GOP Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony This week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Health care moves to center stage of Democratic primary fight | Sanders, Biden trade sharps jabs on Medicare for All | Senate to vote on 9/11 bill next week | Buttigieg pushes for cheaper insulin MORE (Utah), have said Trump must get Congress's approval before using force in Syria.