Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is one of four senators on Capitol Hill who introduced a new bill Thursday that would block President Obama from getting involved in the Syrian civil war.
It comes after the Obama administration announced plans last week to send arms to the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime after determining Assad had been using chemical weapons on its people.
The bill proposed Thursday would stop “the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities” from “supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual.”
“The President’s unilateral decision to arm Syrian rebels is incredibly disturbing, considering what little we know about whom we are arming,” Paul said Thursday.
Said Paul: “Engaging in yet another conflict in the Middle East with no vote or Congressional oversight compounds the severity of this situation. The American people deserve real deliberation by their elected officials before we send arms to a region rife with extremists who seek to threaten the U.S. and her allies.”
Other sponsors include Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, is also a sponsor.
“Any military involvement in Syria, including the arming of Syrian rebels, needs to be authorized through Congress, where concerns can be publicly debated and the American people can have a say,” Lee said.
“I’m deeply skeptical about plans for military intervention in Syria, given the dangerously fractured state of the opposition, and the very real risk of American weapons and money falling into the hands of the same terrorist organizations we’re already fighting around the world,” Murphy said.