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Robert Hurt votes no on President Obama’s proposal to train Syrian rebels

Robert_HurtCongressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting against an amendment that would authorize training and arming Syrian rebels.

“I fully support the President’s ultimate objective of dismantling and destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because I believe that ISIL is indeed a direct threat to the United States and our national security.  While I have grave concerns about the President’s proposal to train and arm Syrian rebels to fight for our American interests, that is not why I was unable to support the President’s request today.

“My concern instead lies with the fact that the President has not requested a broader Authorization for Use of Military Force from Congress prior to commencing a wider and sustained engagement against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.  I believe that the Constitution requires the President to obtain authorization from Congress to wage war.  The American people and their representatives in Congress must be afforded the opportunity to participate in an honest and candid debate as to exactly what action will be necessary to achieve our shared objective and exactly what will ultimately be required of the American people and of our brave men and women in uniform if we embark on this course.

“Issues of this magnitude should not be rolled into an unrelated ‘must-pass’ spending bill for the sake of expediency.  It is my fervent hope that the President will immediately begin the process of seeking congressional authorization and that he will present a solid plan of action to destroy ISIL that the American people and their representatives in Congress can rally behind.”