House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent out a "dear colleague" letter to congressional Democrats on Tuesday afternoon, calling on them to approve action to respond to "the Syrian government's unspeakable use of chemical weapons."
Pelosi, who also spoke on Syria at the White House on Tuesday, writes that "it has been, and remains, a core pillar of our national security ... to prevent, limit, and halt the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons." The full letter is below.
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The return of Congress next week will bring a serious and necessary debate on a resolution authorizing the limited and proportional use of force against the Syrian regime.
At this critical juncture, it is essential that we make all Americans — the men and women we represent — fully aware of what the intelligence clearly and unequivocally demonstrates: that the Assad regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks against innocent Syrians, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children.
The evidence of these attacks is clear, convincing, and devastating. The American public must hear more of the intelligence and information available to our nation's leaders that led President Obama and his Administration to call for such action.
It is in our national interest to respond to the Syrian government's unspeakable use of chemical weapons. Indeed, it has been, and remains, a core pillar of our national security — under Democratic and Republican administrations — to prevent, limit, and halt the spread and use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. This is a matter of national, regional, and global security.
We appreciate President Obama's decision to consult Congress, to keep Members informed of the intelligence through the briefings and calls taking place with our Caucus, and to submit to Congress a resolution on the use of military force. The shape and content of the final resolution will depend on what Members can support.
We look forward to hearing any comments and questions you may have as we carefully discuss how to proceed and what steps to take. I appreciate those who have already offered their thoughts, comments, and opinions, and I look forward to working together on this challenge in the coming days. For many, ignoring Bashar Al-Assad's use of chemical weapons is a luxury humanity simply cannot afford.