Rand Paul: Syria airstrikes 'not in the national interest'

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"It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons", Trump said in a statement about the military strike. They urged Trump to come to Congress to get authorization for military force. But they also sought to allow presidents some leeway with respect to the handling of crises. Forces were engaged there for about eight months as the Obama administration argued that its military presence didn't fall under the Resolution.

The U.S. has conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria since 2014, but Thursday's is the first against the Syrian government.

When Obama tried to get authorization to strike Assad, Republicans were reluctant to get on board to vote for it, Cardin said. 11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A president can order a discreet strike, said Lee, but there is a "short shot clock" on that and after that the president needs to come to Congress to make his case to the American people. Presidents have maintained that their commander-in-chief power under the Constitution gives them the right to do so. It was one of a series of calls by administration officials to members of Congress beginning shortly before the strikes and extending until after midnight on Thursday evening.

During an interview on Fox Business' "Varney & Co.", host Stuart Varney asked Paul what his "immediate reaction" was to Trump's actions in Syria as a Russian ship reportedly steams toward our forces in the Mediterranean.

Any attempt by Trump to push a new war powers resolution through Congress would be hard. The president has access to information the rest of us don't have.

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Blumenthal and a few other lawmakers noted that the Trump administration's stance on Syria has been "erratic", pointing out that the secretary of state and White House press secretary said just a few days ago that Assad was likely to stay in power.

That's it. Absent those criteria, the president has no authority to act without congressional authorization.

President Donald Trump's military strike against Syria drew strong push-back from an odd mix of libertarian Republicans, Democrats and the far-right conservatives who have long insisted on Congress' constitutional authority for acts of war. None of these operations were authorized by Congress. This air campaign lasted about seven months, even though Congress had not endorsed it. The Obama administration argued that the operation was not bound by the War Powers Resolution's 60 day limit because the absence of USA troops on the ground in Libya meant the US had not entered into hostilities.

Obama also launched the US military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) without gaining direct congressional assent for the campaign.

In 2013, President Obama took the unusual step of asking Congress to approve intervention in the Syrian civil war, after he initially indicated he had the constitutional powers to order limited military strikes without its approval.

"If the President gets away with taking this action against the Syrian regime without a congressional vote, there is no end to the executive power over military affairs", he said.