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Senators Tom Udall, Lee, Murphy, Paul Introduce Bill to Block Military Funds to Syria

June 20, 2013 in Politics & Elections

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit the President from using any funds on activities that would escalate U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.

The bill would ban the Department of Defense, the CIA and all other intelligence agencies from funding any military, paramilitary or covert operations in Syria. The legislation would not affect humanitarian aid.

All four Senators have spoken out strongly in opposition to President Obama’s decision to arm rebel groups in Syria. Udall, Murphy and Paul, all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, cast the lone votes in Committee against authorizing the President to arm and train rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in an ongoing civil war.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.): ‘I am deeply disturbed by the current situation in Syria and atrocities committed by President Assad’s regime and other militant groups inside Syria. The ongoing humanitarian tragedy deserves the attention of the international community. But there are too many questions about how the President’s decision to arm the Syrian rebels will be handled, and unfortunately many of those answers are being kept secret. We don’t know where the money is coming from, who the arms are going to, and whether the arms are going to individuals who have the capabilities to maintain a chain of custody of those weapons. This would not be acceptable in any standard sale of weapons to another government and should definitely not be acceptable for sales to rebel groups we know little about. We need to place a check on the President’s unilateral decision to arm the rebels, while still preserving humanitarian aid and assistance to the Syrian people, and that is why I’m introducing this bill. Bottom line: We should not get involved in another civil war in the Middle East without a clear national security interest.’

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): ‘The conflict in Syria has been going on for over two years, yet there are many questions surrounding the composition and goals of Syrian opposition groups and the interests of U.S. national security that need answers. Any military involvement in Syria, including the arming of Syrian rebels, needs to be authorized through Congress, where concerns can be publicly debated and the American people can have a …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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