US Senate resolution gives Obama 90 days to act on Syria

SENATE HEARING. US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asks questions during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill September 3, 2013 in Washington, DC, on congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria. AFP/Brendan Smialowski

The US Senate drafted a bipartisan measure Tuesday, September 3, that imposed a 90-day deadline for American military intervention in Syria and barred the use of US troops on the ground there. The US Congress this week is debating US President Barack Obama’s push for a military response to what he says was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people last month on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Committee chairman Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat who said he backs Obama’s plan for the use of force against Assad’s regime, and whose office crafted the measure with staff from ranking committee Republican Senator Bob Corker, said he expected a vote on the measure Wednesday. Analysts say that President Obama made a political gamble by asking the US Congress to authorize military action against Syria. An approval would bolster Obama’s plan for military intervention while a no-vote would be a political blow for his administration.

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