Nancy Pelosi to Congressional Democrats: Use of Force in Syria ‘Is In our National Interest’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.
National Journal
Matt Berman
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Sept. 3, 2013, 10:17 a.m.

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.

Dear Col­league,

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.

Best re­gards,

NANCY PELOSI

Demo­crat­ic Lead­er

What We're Following See More »
LEGACY PLAY
Sanders and Clinton Spar Over … President Obama
10 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”

THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

DIRECT APPEAL TO MINORITIES, WOMEN
Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
19 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

Source:
WEEKEND DATA DUMP
State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Source:
×