Rep. Collins 'pleased' president will consult Congress on Syria action
Aug 31, 2013
In The News
Congressman Chris Collins, R-Amherst, who days ago joined other lawmakers in urging President Barack Obama to ask for authorization from Congress before using U.S. military force in Syria, said he is pleased with the president’s announcement today that he will consult with Congress in seeking support for a strike against Syria.
“This situation is extremely complex and it is appropriate for all the representatives of the American people to vote on this critical decision,” Collins said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
The action against Syria is meant to punish Bashar Assad’s regime for allegedly using chemical weapons. Navy ships are on standby in the Mediterranean Sea ready to launch cruise missiles, according to The Associated Press.
Collins said he will join House Members in Washington on Sunday for a classified, interagency briefing.
“As I said earlier this week, the situation in Syria is deeply troubling and any military response by the United States could have ramifications far beyond the Syrian border,” Collins said.
In a statement earlier in the week, Collins said he was concerned that a military response could have implications for the entire region.
“For those reasons alone, I believe the President has an obligation to consult Congress and communicate with the American people about what our response should be,” Collins said in the earlier statement.
“President Obama himself wrote that ‘the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation’ in a 2007 response to a Boston Globe questionnaire.
“It is my hope that President Obama will remember these words and call for Congress to reconvene for discussion should he deem military action in Syria necessary,” Collins said.
Obama, in an address televised live Saturday in the United States and on state television in Syria, said he has decided that the United States should take military action. He said he believes that as president he has authority to carry out the proposed military action without congressional authorization, but that the country “will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective” with congressional support.
Congress is scheduled to return from a summer vacation Sept. 9.
“Before deciding how I will vote when Congress returns to session, I will thoroughly review all of the available intelligence and learn all I can about the limited military action in Syria proposed by President Obama,” Collins said.