Rep. Salmon Statement Upon Today’s Vote To Fund the Government and Provide Aid to Free Syrian Army
Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement addressing the Continuing Resolution, H.J. Res. 124, that passed the House of Representatives earlier today.
“Our Constitution vests Congress with the ‘power of the purse.’ As such, I have long believed that funding our government by simply voting to continue current spending levels without oversight is not what our Founding Fathers intended when they signed our Constitution 227 years ago today. Congress must get back to funding government by passing appropriations bills through regular order.
“In addition to the fiscal irresponsibility of perpetually passing continuing resolutions to fund our government, I have grave concerns over the implications of passing an amendment that supports the President’s plan to fund, train, and arm Syrian rebel fighters. By coming to the Congress only with the most contentious aspect of his ISIS strategy, the President shows that he only cares for Congress’ input when he seeks to avoid potential political pitfalls by diffusing responsibility.
“Furthermore, like many Americans, I’m concerned over the President’s ability to positively differentiate between our allies and our adversaries in the Syrian conflict. As we have seen in Iraq, arming a group of fighters is not wise if those individuals will either desert their posts or support the enemy they claim to oppose. The President’s assurances that he knows who should be receiving our aid are not enough. Congress has an obligation to ensure that our weapons are not used against U.S. forces or U.S. interests before we authorize their disbursement. Two weeks ago, the President called the Free Syrian Army a ‘fantasy;’ now he wants them to be the tip of the spear in America’s ISIS strategy.
“It is undeniable that ISIS poses a serious threat to the U.S. and our national interests. As I stated last week after the President’s address, I stand ready to assist him in confronting and eliminating this threat, but only after he presents Congress with a full comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and asks for Congress’ full authorization of force. By doing so, he will convince our allies that America stands ready to work with them in defeating threats to our freedom. Nonetheless, the President must recognize that each day that passes without him working with Congress to show a unified front is another day wasted in eradicating Islamic extremists and achieving our objective of protecting America’s security.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.