Addressing congressional qualms about the prospect of air strikes on Syria becoming an open-ended military operation, Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) today (Tuesday) said they were drafting a resolution that would put sharp limits on the both scope and authority that would be given to President Obama to conduct the attack. Both Van Hollen and Connolly said they were hoping to present their version of the resolution as soon as late Tuesday, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The language they have engaged is much narrower than that the White House has employed, and incorporates four main components: (1)it would be legally binding that there would be no ground troops, (2) there would be a provision limiting the strike to one time, unless Assad again uses chemical weapons, (3) a short time limit on the strikes – most likely around 60 days, and (4) a provision stating the goal of the strike – to prevent the use of chemical weapons.
The fourth provision would, for example, deter Mr. Obama from using the authorization as part of a broader campaign to prevent the Syrians from stockpiling chemical weapons.