By Office of Peter Welch
Washington, DC (June 27th) – Rep. Peter Welch joined with Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Â and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) at a press conference today to unveil bipartisan legislation to block U.S. military intervention in Syria without an affirmative vote of Congress.
Specifically, Welch and his colleaguesâ€™ bill would require military intervention in Syria, including military assistance, to first be authorized by a joint resolution of Congress.Â It would exempt ongoing humanitarian assistance from the requirement of Congressional approval.
â€œIt is vitally important that we recognize the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan,â€ said Welch. Â â€œSyria is in a brutal and tragic civil war the roots of which go back hundreds of years. To the extent that America can help with humanitarian assistance to ease this tragic refugee crisis, we should do so. But sending military assistance to Syrian rebels, or intervening directly in this conflict, will lead to the Americanization of this Sunni-Shia conflict. If America walks down this path, Congress and the American people should first be part of a vigorous debate.Â Congress has the constitutional responsibility to authorize any action and it should do its job.â€
Identical legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy(D-CT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee(R-UT).Â Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is also a cosponsor of the House bill.
Welch recently traveled to the region on a congressional oversight trip from April 28-May 4.Â He visited a refugee camp on the Syrian-Turkey border.Î¦
Rep. Peter Welch represents Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives. His initial campaign for that office in 2006 gained nationwide attention for being the only contested congressional race in the country where both candidates agreed not to run negative ads.