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Durbin: Seeking Congressional Approval On Syria Right Call

Dick Durbin

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) held an immigration roundtable Monday at an evangelical Christian college in the suburban Chicago district of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Republican leader in the House. (Chip Mitchell/IPR)

The Senate’s second highest-ranking Democrat says President Obama made the right call by turning to Congress about a possible military strike in Syria.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he has not made up his mind about whether he would support a military strike against Bashar al- Assad’s regime.

At an event in Champaign on Saturday, Durbin said there is no doubt Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. But before he can back a military response, Durbin wants to hear the president’s plan.

“Of course if anyone attacks the United States, there’s no question of his authority as commander and chief, but in this case we’re dealing with an atrocity which occurred within another foreign country – not an ally of the United States,” Durbin said. “This is new territory for a president to embark on. I can hardly think of many examples in the past quite like this. ”

Echoing what the president said, Durbin said he would not support troops on the ground in Syria.

Both the Senate and the House plan a vote on the matter no later than the week of Sept. 9.