Senate Panel Backs Military Action against Syria

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved a joint resolution authorizing the Obama Administration to use limited military force against Syria. The measure passed by a bipartisan vote of 10 to seven, with three Republicans supporting it and two Democrats opposing it. Press reports indicated that the full Senate could take up debate on the resolution as soon as Monday and vote on it as soon as next Wednesday. A House vote could also come next week, according to the press reports. The committee’s language authorizes the President to use the US military “in a limited and specified manner against legitimate military targets in Syria” in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last month against its civilian population. The resolution does not grant the President the authority to use US troops “on the ground in Syria for the purpose of combat operations.” Further, the authorization expires 60 days after the resolution is enacted, unless the President opts to extend the authorization “for a single period of 30 days.” (Includes Miami Herald report, Reuters report, and Wall Street Journal report.)