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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida House members want Obama to engage Congress before acting on Syria



Six Florida Republicans have joined a push demanding President Obama get congressional approval before taking military action against Syria.

"While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate - and the active engagement of Congress - prior to committing U.S. military assets. Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and Without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution," reads a letter organized by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va, and signed by more than 80 House members (and counting.)

The Florida Reps are Tom Rooney, Bill Posey, Trey Radel, Gus Bilirakis, Dennis Ross and Steve Southerland. Democrats from other states also signed but not Florida. Rigell was still collecting signatures today.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Reps. Dan Webster and Ted Yoho joined the letter this afternoon. In all, 116 House members, including 18 Democrats, signed.

"If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request," the letter continues. "We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."

UPDATE: Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen issued a statement that she concurs with the above thinking.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:05pm]


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