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Demand Progress urges Congress to vote ‘yes’ on Syria War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTONToday, the House of Representatives will vote on a Syria War Powers Resolution H.Con.Res.21, introduced by Representative Matt Gaetz, “Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Syria.” If passed, this would require the President to remove all U.S. Armed Forces from Syria within 180-days, unless Congress passes authorization to remain in the country. 

Yesterday, both the Congressional Progressive Caucus as well as former Obama ambassador to Syria Robert Ford issued recommendations to representatives to vote in favor of this legislation.

Ahead of the vote, Cavan Kharrazian, Policy Advisor for Demand Progress Action, issued the following statement:

“Given that U.S. service members remain in harm’s way in Syria, triggering the need for a Congressional vote under the War Powers Resolution, Congress owes it to them, their families, and the American people to have a serious, public debate and vote over our endless mission in Syria.

“While we are disappointed that Representative Gaetz did not consult the bipartisan group of organizations advocating for a Syria War Powers Resolution on the timing, language, and approach of this bill, and did not obtain an original cosponsor from across the aisle, we still fully support the policy outlined in H.Con.Res.21.

“However, we are encouraged to see the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s and Ambassador Ford’s recommendations that Congress vote in favor of this legislation and applaud their support.

“We strongly urge all offices to vote ‘yes’ on the Syria War Powers Resolution in accordance with the Constitution, the War Powers Resolution of 1973, and the broader bipartisan mission to reevaluate and end our endless wars overseas.” 

If the resolution passes, Congress would have the opportunity to debate and vote on whether to provide statutory authorization for a continued U.S. mission in Syria, if it so chooses. If the President fails to receive authorization from Congress within 6 months, U.S. Armed Forces would be withdrawn from Syria until Congress provides authorization.

Last year, 130 House Democrats voted in support of Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s NDAA amendment to end funding for the mission in Syria within one year if Congress did not authorize a mission there, as required by the War Powers Resolution  — which is consistent with the general policy outlined by H.Con.Res.21.

Furthermore, the Biden administration has failed to answer basic questions on the legal basis and scope of the continued U.S. mission in Syria since over 30 lawmakers sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden in November 2021.