Corker says new Syria authorization limits scope of military action
Sen. Corker, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reached an agreement on the authorization with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the committee chairman. The new draft legislation, which was circulated to committee members on Tuesday, would strictly prohibit American boots on the ground, limit the duration of any military action to 60 days and require a report from the Obama administration detailing U.S. support for moderate and vetted Syrian opposition groups.
"Our negotiations have led to a much narrower authorization that provides for the appropriate use of force while limiting the scope and duration of military action, prohibiting boots on the ground, and requiring the Obama administration to submit their broader plan for Syria," Corker said.
The committee was expected to hold a markup on the new authorization language on Wednesday after a classified hearing on intelligence related to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad's regime. On Tuesday, the committee heard testimony from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.
"I look forward to the input from my colleagues on the committee and in Congress who will have an opportunity to weigh in on what we've produced," Corker said. "This is one of the most serious matters that comes before the Congress, so as we proceed to a potentially defining vote next week, the president and his administration must continue to vigorously make their case to the American people."