Durbin Discusses Potential Military Action in Syria at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke today at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to debate the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Syria. During today’s hearing, Durbin questioned Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey regarding Syria’s capacity for chemical warfare, and the regional response to the ongoing conflict. This morning, Senator Durbin, the Assistant Majority Leader, attended a briefing for Congressional Leadership at the White House with President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  


“Being part of these historic life and death decisions is one of the toughest calls we’ll ever make as Members of Congress. I salute the President for respecting the Constitution, and for giving us that responsibility,” Durbin said. “Secretary Kerry and Secretary Hagel, I take very seriously that our language is as precise as possible when it comes to the question of expanding this mission into something that would engage us in a new level of warfare, or confer a new authority for this President or any future president. So I hope that we can have your word and assurance that we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to craft this language in a way that carefully achieves our goal but that does not expand authority anywhere beyond what is necessary.”


In addition to serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Durbin is also Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the military and intelligence communities and our national security requirements.