Rand Paul skeptical that Obama will stick to promise to get congressional approval for Syrian strike

09/01/2013 09:15 AM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday applauded President Barack Obama in the wake of an announcement that he will seek congressional authorization in Syria but is concerned the administration will take action if a military strike is voted down.

Obama announced Saturday that he believes the United States should launch a limited strike against the Syrian government but pledged to get Congress to sign off any action. Before Paul’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press“Sunday morning, Secretary of State John Kerry said first on the program that laboratory tests show that Sarin nerve gas was used in an attack in Syria that killed more than 1,400 people.

Paul said he respects the president’s decision to seek congressional approval on military action and says members of Congress still have a lot of questions. But Paul said he worries that if Congress votes down the authorization that the president will still take action.

“But you asked John Kerry whether or not he will stick by the decision of Congress, and I believe he waffled on that and wobbled and wasn’t exactly concrete that they would,” Paul told host David Gregory. “But absolutely, if Congress votes this down then we should not be involved in the Syrian war.”

Congress is scheduled to return from its August recess on Sep. 9. Paul said he believes the Senate will authorize action but gives the proposal a 50/50 chance of it passing the Republican controlled House.

Like others who have spoken out against U.S. involvement, Paul has said it is a mistake to get involved in the Syrian civil war because he believes all the problems in the region will get worse if the U.S. gets involved.

“You know people say ‘well 100,000 people have died, we must act’. Well if our weapons get involved do you think more or less people are going to die?” Paul asked on the Sunday morning show. “I think the war may escalate out of control and then we have to ask ourselves who is on America’s side over there?”

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