Authorizing the Training of Syrian Rebels Shouldn’t Be Part of the CR (UPDATED)

Washington — Today, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, backtracked on comments regarding President Obama’s request to include language that would authorize American troops to give support to supposedly moderate resistance forces in Syria.  Yesterday Rogers said it was a “complicated, big-time change in policy” that he would “hate to see us attach to a continuing resolution at the very last minute.”  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Chairman Rogers had it right yesterday: It is unconscionable to expect lawmakers to make a decision on this complex, complicated policy issue as the administration simultaneously invokes the specter of a government shutdown.  President Obama’s Syria policy should be considered separately from the CR.”  

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, added:

“Last night the President finally outlined a strategy for dealing with the threat of ISIS.  If Congress considers authorizing the use of military force, it should do so as a standalone measure.  Furthermore, the pending continuing resolution should not be used to give a $500 million blank check to Syrian rebels whom we know little about. That is neither wise nor necessary for driving ISIS out of Iraq and restoring its territorial integrity.  The need for action is real, but matters of war and peace should be dealt with separately.”