Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SENATORS REWRITE SYRIA MISSILE STRIKE DRAFT




WASHINGTON--Senate leaders are working on a revised resolution authorizing U.S. strikes in Syria that puts President Barack Obama on a short leash in responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad’s forces, sources said Monday.
But whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can find the 60 votes he will need to overcome an expected filibuster of the new Syria proposal is still far from clear.

Aides to Reid and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) have set aside a proposed Syria resolution submitted by the White House on Saturday night. That draft resolution — developed without congressional input — is seen as far too broad by lawmakers in both parties.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, is also involved in the discussions over the new resolution, Senate sources said.

Some of the options being considered for the revised Authorization for the Use of Military Force include a 60-day period for Obama to launch “narrow, limited” strikes against Assad’s regime with the potential for a 30-day extension of that deadline.
Language barring the insertion of U.S. ground troops — but crafted to allow special forces operations or the rescue of a downed American flier, for instance — is also being considered, the sources said.
And Obama would be prohibited from making the toppling of Assad’s government the goal of any U.S. military effort in Syria, as some some hawkish lawmakers have supported.
(reported  by JOHN BRESNAHAN | 9/2/13 5:29 PM EDT)