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Rep. Tom Cole says Congress should have say in Syria action

by Chris Casteel Modified: August 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm •  Published: August 27, 2013

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, has signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to seek congressional authorization for military action in Syria. Cole was one of 22 lawmakers to sign the letter written by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-VA.

“We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before orderingthe use of U.S. military force in Syria,” the letter states. “Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.”

“If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”

The Obama administration is reportedly contemplating military action after determining that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people.

Two years ago, the House passed an amendment by Cole to prohibit funding for most U.S. operations in Libya.

Cole said then that it was “intellectually arrogant” for Obama to tell lawmakers that he didn’t need their approval for military operations in Libya because the involvement didn’t rise to the level of hostilities.

Cole said Obama considered consulting Congress “politically inconvenient, even though it was constitutionally correct.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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