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

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOvernight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain Satellite images raise alarms about North Korean nukes MORE (R-Ill.) on Tuesday said he doesn’t believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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.”

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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 LeeSenate approves 4B spending bill Overnight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses US military intervention in Venezuela would be a major mistake MORE (Utah), have said Trump must get Congress's approval before using force in Syria.