Proposed Syria Resolution Bars U.S. Ground Troops, Sets 60-Day Deadline for Military Action

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 3 2013 9:13 PM

Proposed Syria Resolution Bars U.S. Ground Troops, Sets 60-Day Deadline for Military Action

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Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise on Tuesday evening, agreeing on a new use-of-force resolution in Syria that prohibits the use of U.S. ground troops in the country and sets a 60-day deadline for President Obama to launch military strikes.

The proposal was crafted by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the highest ranking members of the committee from each party.

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Here’s a statement from Sen. Menendez following the agreement:

“Together we have pursued a course of action that gives the President the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime’s criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, while assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote on the resolution as soon as Wednesday and, if approved, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will schedule a full Senate vote next week, POLITICO reports. “I’m not ready to count votes,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said of Democratic support in the Senate, POLITICO reports. “There are a few — I expect a number of them to have some questions. Let’s see if they feel the same way after the resolution is debated and amended.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the committee, saying for the Obama administration it would be "preferable not to" have ban on ground troops as part of the resolution. “I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country,” Kerry added at the time. When asked to clarify his comments, Kerry said “there will not be American boots on the ground with respect' to the civil war in Syria."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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