As we continue our thoughtful conversation on the President’s request for Congressional authorization on Syria, a number of Members have suggested diplomatic efforts instead of a military strike. These efforts are not mutually exclusive. The Administration has been actively engaged in diplomacy and today, at a meeting of the G-20, released a Joint Statement on Syria by the leaders and representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America calling for “a strong international response” and stating that:
“The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal. The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere. Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons.”
The full statement can be viewed here.
Many Members have said that the President needs to take his case to the American people. The President announced today that he will again address the nation on Tuesday, September 10, which will allow him to make the intelligence case to the American people as to the Assad regime’s responsibility for the attack and why it’s in our national interest to respond to it.
A number of Members have availed themselves of the briefings offered by the Administration. As the House comes back into session next week, I also want to call your attention to the bipartisan classified briefing that will be held for all Members on Monday, September 9th at 5:00 p.m. in the CVC Auditorium. Additionally, Chairman Becerra has planned two Caucus meetings next week: the first on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as well as an additional Caucus meeting on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Ruppersberger has encouraged you to read the classified intelligence report, which is available every day of the week for your review. Administration officials have also been briefing various parts of our Caucus via conference call and stand ready to set up additional calls based on Member requests.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts as we continue this critical debate. I have taken seriously both your public and private comments, and continue to pass them along to the White House.