WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement today on the president's plan to seek congressional approval for military action against the Assad regime in Syria:
"I want to commend President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for military action against the Assad regime in Syria. His choice represents a return to a more Constitutionally sound and serious approach to the issue of when American force is justified and appropriate.
"As I have said in the past, I am firmly against putting U.S. troops in harm's way in Syria and I do not believe we should become directly involved in the Syrian Civil War. Additionally, I continue to oppose arming opposition groups that, too often, are working arm-in-arm with al-Qa'ida affiliates such as the Al-Nusra Front.
"However, having carefully reviewed the evidence, it is evident that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a broad scale against civilian non-combatants and even children. Assad has willfully committed war crimes against his own people. The question at hand is what to do about it.
"My decision on any resolution for the authorization of military force will be guided by what our country and the international community could hope to achieve through those actions. I believe that if America is to use military force it must not be an undefined and open-ended commitment, but rather a narrow and forceful action designed to minimize the illegal use of chemical weapons in the future.
"If those goals can be achieved, I would urge the President to make that case to the Congress and to the American people."