House sources tell RPI that Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) is preparing to introduce legislation to forbid the president from providing military assistance to any of the combatant groups in the current Syrian conflict. Absent a Congressional declaration of war, the legislation asserts, the president may not expend money appropriated by Congress for the purposes of arming any side in Syria.
While not explicitly prohibiting provision of so-called “humanitarian assistance,” which often includes such conflict-related materials as night-vision goggles and targeting communications equipment, the bill, if passed, would nevertheless seriously impede the president’s stated policy shift in favor of arming the Syrian rebels.
According to sources, here is the operative section of the legislation:
“No funds made available to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of, or in a manner which would have the effect of, supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual.”In related news, Ron Paul Institute Board Member Rep. Walter Jones last week introduced legislation, H. Con. Res. 40, to clarify that should the president choose to implement military force against Syria without congressional approval, that decision would constitute an impeachable offense under Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution.
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