[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 116 (Friday, September 6, 2013)]
[Senate]
[Pages S6269-S6270]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

      By Mr. MENENDEZ:
  S.J. Res. 21. An original joint resolution to authorize the limited 
and specified use of the United States Armed Forces against Syria; from 
the Committee on Foreign Relations; placed on the calendar.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the joint 
resolution be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the joint resolution was 
ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

                              S.J. Res. 21

       Whereas Syria is in material breach of the laws of war by 
     having employed chemical weapons against its civilian 
     population;
       Whereas the abuses of the regime of Bashar al-Assad have 
     included the brutal repression and war upon its own civilian 
     population, resulting in more than 100,000 people killed in 
     the past two years, 2,000,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring 
     countries, and 4,500,000 internally displaced persons in 
     Syria, creating an unprecedented regional crisis and 
     instability;
       Whereas the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons 
     programs in the region and has demonstrated its capability 
     and willingness to repeatedly use weapons of mass destruction 
     against its own people, including the August 21, 2013, attack 
     in the suburbs of Damascus in which the Assad regime murdered 
     over 1,000 innocent people, including hundreds of children;
       Whereas there is clear and compelling evidence of the 
     direct involvement of Assad regime forces and senior 
     officials in the planning, execution, and after-action 
     attempts to cover-up, the August 21, 2013, attack, and hide 
     or destroy evidence of such attack;
       Whereas the Arab League has declared with regards to the 
     August 21, 2013, incident to hold the ``Syrian regime 
     responsible for this heinous crime'';
       Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Resolution 
     1540 (2004), affirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, 
     chemical, and biological weapons constitutes a threat to 
     international peace and security;
       Whereas in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese 
     Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-175), 
     Congress found that Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass 
     destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the 
     national security interests of the United States;
       Whereas the actions and conduct of the Assad regime are in 
     direct contravention of Syria's legal obligations under the 
     United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the 
     Protocol to the Hague Convention on the Prohibition of the 
     Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of 
     Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, done at Geneva June 17, 
     1925, and also violate the standards set forth in the 
     Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, 
     Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their 
     Destruction, done at Paris January 13, 1993;
       Whereas Syria's use of weapons of mass destruction and its 
     conduct and actions constitute a grave threat to regional 
     stability, world peace, and the national security interests 
     of the United States and its allies and partners;
       Whereas the objectives of the United States use of military 
     force in connection with this authorization are to respond to 
     the

[[Page S6270]]

     use, and deter and degrade the potential future use, of 
     weapons of mass destruction by the Government of Syria;
       Whereas, on May 21, 2013, the Committee on Foreign 
     Relations of the Senate passed by a 15-3 vote the Syria 
     Transition Support Act (S. 960), which found that the 
     President's goals of Assad leaving power, an end to the 
     violence, and a negotiated political settlement in Syria are 
     prerequisites for a stable, democratic future for Syria and 
     regional peace and security, but absent decisive changes to 
     the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria, 
     sufficient incentives do not yet exist for the achievement of 
     such goals; and
       Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution 
     to use force in order to defend the national security 
     interests of the United States: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This joint resolution may be cited as the ``Authorization 
     for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria 
     to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons''.

     SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

       (a) Authorization.--The President is authorized, subject to 
     subsection (b), to use the Armed Forces of the United States 
     as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate 
     in a limited and specified manner against legitimate military 
     targets in Syria, only to--
       (1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction by 
     the Government of Syria in the conflict in Syria;
       (2) deter Syria's use of such weapons in order to protect 
     the national security interests of the United States and to 
     protect United States allies and partners against the use of 
     such weapons;
       (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 any weapons of mass 
     destruction.
       (b) Requirement for Determination That Use of Military 
     Force Is Necessary.--Before exercising the authority granted 
     in subsection (a), the President shall make available to the 
     Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro 
     tempore of the Senate the President's determination that--
       (1) the United States has used all appropriate diplomatic 
     and other peaceful means to prevent the deployment and use of 
     weapons of mass destruction by Syria;
       (2) the Government of Syria has conducted one or more 
     significant chemical weapons attacks;
       (3) the use of military force is necessary to respond to 
     the use of chemical weapons by the Government of Syria;
       (4) it is in the core national security interest of the 
     United States to use such military force;
       (5) the United States has a military plan to achieve the 
     specific goals of--
       (A) responding to the use of weapons of mass destruction by 
     the Government of Syria in the conflict in Syria;
       (B) deterring Syria's use of such weapons in order to 
     protect the national security interests of the United States 
     and to protect United States allies and partners against the 
     use of such weapons;
       (C) degrading Syria's capacity to use such weapons in the 
     future; and
       (D) preventing the transfer to terrorist groups or other 
     state or non-state actors within Syria of any weapons of mass 
     destruction; and
       (6) the use of military force is consistent with and 
     furthers the goals of the United States strategy toward 
     Syria, including achieving a negotiated political settlement 
     to the conflict.
       (c) War Powers Resolution Requirements.--
       (1) Specific statutory authorization.--Consistent with 
     section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 
     1547(a)(1)), Congress declares that this section is intended 
     to constitute specific statutory authorization within the 
     meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50 
     U.S.C. 1544(b)), within the limits of the authorization 
     established under this section.
       (2) Applicability of other requirements.--Nothing in this 
     resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers 
     Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).

     SEC. 3. LIMITATION.

       The authority granted in section 2(a) does not authorize 
     the use of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in 
     Syria for the purpose of combat operations.

     SEC. 4. TERMINATION OF THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF 
                   UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

       The authorization in section 2(a) shall terminate 60 days 
     after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution, 
     except that the President may extend, for a single period of 
     30 days, such authorization if--
       (1) the President determines and certifies to Congress, not 
     later than 5 days before the date of termination of the 
     initial authorization, that the extension is necessary to 
     fulfill the purposes of this resolution as defined by section 
     2(a) due to extraordinary circumstances and for ongoing and 
     impending military operations against Syria under section 
     2(a); and
       (2) Congress does not enact into law, before the extension 
     of authorization, a joint resolution disapproving the 
     extension of the authorization for the additional 30-day 
     period; provided that any such joint resolution shall be 
     considered under the expedited procedures otherwise provided 
     for concurrent resolutions of disapproval contained in 
     section 7 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1546).

     SEC. 5. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

       (a) Changing of Momentum on Battlefield.--It is the policy 
     of the United States to change the momentum on the 
     battlefield in Syria so as to create favorable conditions for 
     a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a 
     democratic government in Syria.
       (b) Degradation of Ability of Regime to Use Weapons of Mass 
     Destruction.--A comprehensive United States strategy in Syria 
     should aim, as part of a coordinated international effort, to 
     degrade the capabilities of the Assad regime 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. SYRIA STRATEGY.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this resolution, the President shall consult 
     with Congress and submit to the Committee on Foreign 
     Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs 
     of the House of Representatives an integrated United States 
     Government strategy for achieving a negotiated political 
     settlement to the conflict in Syria, including a 
     comprehensive review of current and planned United States 
     diplomatic, political, economic, and military policy towards 
     Syria.
       (b) Elements.--The strategy required under subsection (a) 
     shall include--
       (1) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian 
     Supreme Military Council and other Syrian entities opposed to 
     the government of Bashar Al-Assad that have been properly and 
     fully vetted and share common values and interests with the 
     United States;
       (2) the provision of all forms of assistance to the Syrian 
     political opposition, including the Syrian Opposition 
     Coalition;
       (3) efforts to isolate extremist and terrorist groups in 
     Syria to prevent their influence on the future transitional 
     and permanent Syrian governments;
       (4) security coordination with allies and regional partners 
     including Israel, Jordan and Turkey;
       (5) efforts to limit support from the Government of Iran 
     and others for the Syrian regime;
       (6) planning for securing existing chemical, biological, 
     and other weapons supplies; and
       (7) efforts to address the ongoing humanitarian challenges 
     presented by 2,000,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring 
     countries, and 4,500,000 internally displaced persons in 
     Syria, and related humanitarian needs.

     SEC. 7. CONGRESSIONAL NOTIFICATION AND REPORTING.

       (a) Notification and Provision of Information.--Upon the 
     President's determination to use the authority set forth in 
     section 2, the President shall notify Congress, including the 
     Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, 
     of the use of such authority and shall keep Congress fully 
     and currently informed of the use of such authority.
       (b) Reports.--Not later than 10 days after the initiation 
     of military operations under the authority provided by 
     section 2, and every 20 days thereafter until the completion 
     of military operations, the President shall submit to 
     Congress, including the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 
     Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
     Representatives, a report on the status of such operations, 
     including progress achieved toward the objectives specified 
     in section 2(a), the financial costs of operations to date, 
     and an assessment of the impact of the operations on the 
     Syrian regime's chemical weapons capabilities and intentions.

     SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

       The authority set forth 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, for the specific purposes, and for the 
     limited period of time set forth in this resolution.

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