Trump’s decision to unleash air strikes on Syria created strange bedfellows on Capitol Hill Saturday and could have unintended consequences for allied leaders.
Trump had the expected supports of Republican leadership who rallied behind his use of force.
Hawkish conservatives such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) surprised no one by applauding the aggressive pushback against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s suspected use of poison gas on civilians.
But the air strikes were also cheered by Democrats hoping for an end to the humanitarian crisis that has engulfed the country during its seven-year civil war.
“A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
A chorus of criticism also rose against Trump Saturday that included voices from both sides of the aisle condemning his failure to obtain congressional approval for the move.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) blasted congressional leaders for their refusal to demand Trump seek the input of lawmakers.
“These offensive strikes against Syria are unconstitutional, illegal, and reckless,” he tweeted.
That sentiment was echoed by liberal lawmakers who also questioned Trump’s actions.
President “Trump’s decision to launch military strikes against the Syrian regime — without congressional input or authorization — shows a contempt for the U.S Constitution and is without legal justification,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
Eighty-eight members of Congress wrote Trump on Friday to urge that he consult with legislators before taking action.
An aide to Vice President Pence said that he had called legislative leaders and alerted them shortly before the missiles began to rain down outside of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
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