WASHINGTON – A group of lawmakers is urging President
“While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active engagement of Congress – prior to committing
[Updated, 2:10 p.m. Aug. 27: Rigell’s letter has 33 co-sponsors in the House, including 6 Democrats. He is seeking additional co-signers before sending the letter to the
Thus far, the debate on Syria among members of Congress is as much about whether the White House needs their approval as it is about the merits of any action. Administration outreach to lawmakers has increased since the weekend. White House spokesman
A spokesman for House Speaker
"I think if you look at the debate in Washington, and candidly, the feckless nature of Congress over time relative to foreign policy, some of the irresponsible comments that end up being made by folks who end up having no ownership over what we're doing in this regard, I actually wish they would call us back and ask for an authorization in advance," he said. "I think it's the responsible thing to do."
Presented with that quote, Carney countered that "allowing the use of chemical weapons on a significant scale to take place without a response would present a significant challenge to or threat to the United States' national security interests."
A spokesman for
"But now that American credibility is on the line, the president cannot fail to act decisively," he said.
"I urge the administration to continue to exercise restraint, because absent an imminent threat to America's national security, the U.S. should not take military action without congressional authorization," he said.