Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced tonight that they’ve reached an agreement on a draft for authorization of force in Syria that revises President Obama’s version:
“Sharing President Obama’s view that our nation is best served when we come together as one, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has crafted a bipartisan Authorization for the Use of Military Force that we believe reflects the will and concerns of Democrats and Republicans alike. Together we have pursued a course of action that gives the President the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime’s criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, while assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria. The mass atrocity committed by the Assad regime in grave violation of international law requires American leadership. We have an obligation to act, not witness and watch while a humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in plain view. With this agreement, we are one step closer to granting the President the authority to act in our national security interest. I thank Ranking Member Corker for his continued collaboration and partnership and look forward to our work together in the days ahead.”
The committee still has a classified hearing behind closed doors tomorrow morning. The panel then is likely to come into open session to discuss the agreement and perhaps take a vote.
UPDATE: Menendez convened an 11:30 a.m. Wednesday committee meeting to consider the legislation.