Rand Paul On Syria: 'We Should Have An Open Debate' On U.S. Involvement

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) released a statement Wednesday on the United States' potential intervention in Syria, calling for an "open debate" in Congress and warning that the United States has "no clear national security connection" to the conflict.

"We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement," reads the statement. "The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress not the President."

Paul continues, "The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States."

Paul's statement comes as the White House weighs a potential military response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians.

"The options we are considering are not about regime change," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, 33 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to seek congressional approval prior to any military action.

“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United State exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution," reads the letter, written by Rep. Scot Rigell (R-Va.).

In July, Paul penned an op-ed warning Obama against arming Syrian rebels.

"The United States should never get involved where we have no clear national interest," he wrote. "We should not intervene militarily in a country like Syria, where we can’t separate friend from foe and might end up arming the very people who hate us the most."

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