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Welch Statement on U.S. Strikes in Syria

April 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) today released the following statement: 

“Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people is crime against humanity and a clear violation of international law.  He is a war criminal who will be held accountable for his barbaric actions.  

“The response last night by our military underscores the inescapable fact that the United States is already involved in the Syrian civil war.  There are American boots on the ground in the region and our military is conducting regular air strikes.  Yet, under our Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war.  

“Until Monday, President Trump’s plan for Syria was to stay out of it.  Just last week, his Secretary of State asserted that the fate of al-Assad was up to the Syrian people.  Yesterday he implied that steps were underway that will lead to regime change in Syria.  

“President Trump has a constitutional obligation to submit to Congress his plan to defeat ISIS and stabilize Syria.  Congress must get off the sidelines and do its job by debating and voting on his plan.”