Bipartisan Coalition Urging Obama to Seek Congressional Approval for Syrian Action

81 members of Congress have signed


A growing bipartisan coalition in Congress is coming together to "strongly urge" President Obama "to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria."

In a letter that will be sent to the president later today, Rep. Scott Rigell, a second-term Republican from Virginia, joins at least 81 of his Republican and Democratic colleagues in demanding that the president first acquire consent from Congress, citing the War Powers Resolution of 1973, before responding militarily to the Syrian government's purported use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21.

"While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate — and the active engagement of Congress — prior to committing U.S. military assets," the group, which so far includes 69 Republicans and 13 Democrats, writes. "Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution."