Wolf: Congress should return for Syria vote

WASHINGTON – Congress should break off its five-week vacation and return to Capitol Hill for a vote on whether to use military force in Syria, says Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.

“The British Parliament came back and they voted. So if the British Parliament can come back, then Congress ought to come back,” Wolf said in an interview with WTOP on Friday.

British lawmakers voted Thursday against supporting U.S. military action in Syria.

Wolf says there’s no reason members of Congress can’t come back to Washington if the president presses ahead with a possible military response to Syria’s suspected use of chemical weapons.

The Republican lawmaker says he doesn’t think it’s enough for a small group of lawmakers to consult with the White House.

“I think the Congress has to come back into session and that Congress has to vote,” Wolf says. “Just consultation is not enough, and particularly just consultation with a couple members of the leadership too.”

The White House on Thursday evening briefed some members of Congress on Syria. And President Barack Obama spoke by phone earlier with Republican House Speaker John Boehner.


Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says the president has been consulting the Congressional leadership and will ‘expand it to include the entire Congress.’ (Congressional portrait)

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., believes the president will broaden his efforts to work with Congress on Syria.

“I believe that he is doing that,” Kaine tells WTOP, noting that Congress is scheduled to return from its five-week vacation on Sept. 9. “So I think the president will continue that consultation and expand it to include the entire Congress.”

Kaine says he supports an international response to Syria, which could include military force.

“At a minimum there needs to be extensive consultation with congressional leadership and then an act of Congress ratifying any initiation of military action,” Kaine says.

Four Norfolk, Va.-based destroyers are deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, within striking distance of Syria.

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