On Saturday afternoon, President Obama addressed the nation saying he would seek congressional approval for the use of force in Syria. The move follows the UK parliament’s decision to vote down the commitment of British forces to the region in any capacity.
Here is video of the President’s remarks in full:
Report from the Wall Street Journal:
President Barack Obama said he has decided he should order limited military strikes against Syria, but in a move laden with political and diplomatic implications, he also agreed in an about-face to solicit authorization for the mission from Congress.
Mr. Obama’s announcement in a Rose Garden statement brought an unusually sudden halt to a military mobilization that for days has appeared on the cusp of a limited bombardment of Syria as punishment for its alleged use of chemical weapons Aug. 21.
It also marked a jarring shift as president for Mr. Obama, whose senior aides have been saying that he would not seek congressional authorization and that he had the legal right to order the start of military strikes.
Mr. Obama said legislative leaders have agreed to hold a debate and a vote on the issue as soon as Congress returns, which currently is scheduled to be Sept. 9. Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, considered calling the chamber back to session before then.
The move places the president’s Syria policy on an unknown course, subjecting it to a certain showdown on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are deeply divided on the issue and even more so over Mr. Obama himself.
Congress will now be in the driver’s seat moving forward over the debate of whether to use US forces in some capacity against the Syrian regime.