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Title: Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons
Introduced: Sep 6, 2013 (113th Congress)
Sponsor: Sen. Robert "Bob" Menéndez [D-NJ]
Status: Reported by Committee - Committee on Foreign Relations. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.
Summary: Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons - (Sec. 2) Authorizes the President, subject to a determination that force is necessary, to use the U.S. Armed Forces in a limited manner against military targets in Syria only to: (1) respond to the government of Syria's use of weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria, (2) deter Syria's use of such weapons in order to protect U.S. national security interests and U.S. allies and partners, (3) degrade Syria's capacity to use such weapons in the future, and (4) prevent the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors within Syria of weapons of mass destruction. Directs the President, before exercising such authority, to make available to Congress the President's determination that: (1) the United States has used all diplomatic and other peaceful means to prevent the government of Syria's deployment and use of weapons of mass destruction; (2) Syria has conducted one or more significant chemical weapons attacks; (3) the use of military force is necessary to respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons; (4) it is in the core U.S. national security interest to use such military force; (5) the United States has a military plan to achieve the specific goals of responding to Syria's use of weapons of mass destruction, deterring Syria's use of such weapons to protect U.S. national security interests and U.S. allies and partners, degrading Syria's capacity to use such weapons, and preventing the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors within Syria of weapons of mass destruction; and (6) the use of military force is consistent with and furthers U.S. strategic goals toward Syria, including achieving a negotiated political settlement to the conflict. Declares that this section constitutes specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution, within the limits of the authorization established under this section. (Sec. 3) States that the authority granted under this resolution does not authorize U.S. Armed Forces ground combat operations in Syria. (Sec. 4) Terminates such authorization 60 days after the date of the enactment of this resolution, except that the President may extend such authorization for a single 30-day period if: (1) the President determines and certifies to Congress, not later than 5 days before termination of the initial authorization, that the extension is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances and for ongoing and impending military operations against Syria; and (2) Congress does not enact into law before the extension of authorization a joint resolution disapproving the extension, provided that any such joint resolution of disapproval shall be considered under the expedited procedures provided for under the War Powers Resolution. (Sec. 5) States that it is U.S. policy to change the battlefield momentum in order to create favorable conditions for a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria. States that a comprehensive U.S. strategy in Syria should aim to degrade the Assad regime's capabilities to use weapons of mass destruction while upgrading the lethal and non-lethal military capabilities of vetted elements of Syrian opposition forces, including the Free Syrian Army. (Sec. 6) Directs the President, not later than 30 days after enactment of this resolution, to consult with and submit to Congress an integrated U.S. strategy for achieving a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Syria, including a comprehensive review of current and planned U.S. diplomatic, political, economic, and military policy towards Syria. Sets forth required elements of such strategy. (Sec. 7) Directs the President to: (1) notify Congress upon the President's determination to use the authority under this resolution and keep Congress fully informed of such use, and (2) provide Congress with status reports within 10 days after the initiation of military operations and every 20 days thereafter until completion of operations. (Sec. 8) States that the authority in section 2 shall not constitute an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war except to the extent that it authorizes military action under the conditions, purposes, and time period set forth in this resolution.