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This is the text that Reid will introduce tomorrow at noon and the first version of whatever the Senate will be voting on next week.

DAV13973 S.L.C.

Calendar No. ll

113TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION

S. J. RES. ll
[Report No. 113–lll]

To authorize the limited and specified use of the United States Armed
Forces against Syria.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

llllllllll

Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself and Mr. CORKER), from the Committee on Foreign
Relations, reported the following original joint resolution; which was
read twice and placed on the calendar

JOINT RESOLUTION

To authorize the limited and specified use of the United
States Armed Forces against Syria.

Whereas Syria is in material breach of the laws of war by
having employed chemical weapons against its civilian
population;

Whereas the abuses of the regime of Bashar al-Assad have
included the brutal repression and war upon its own civilian
population, resulting in more than 100,000 people
killed in the past two years, 2,000,000 Syrian refugees
in neighboring countries, and 4,500,000 internally dis

DAV13973 S.L.C.

2

placed persons in Syria, creating an unprecedented regional
crisis and instability;

Whereas the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons
programs in the region and has demonstrated its capability
and willingness to repeatedly use weapons of mass
destruction against its own people, including the August
21, 2013, attack in the suburbs of Damascus in which
the Assad regime murdered over 1,000 innocent people,
including hundreds of children;

Whereas there is clear and compelling evidence of the direct
involvement of Assad regime forces and senior officials in
the planning, execution, and after-action attempts to
cover-up, the August 21, 2013, attack, and hide or destroy
evidence of such attack;

Whereas the Arab League has declared with regards to the
August 21, 2013, incident to hold the ‘‘Syrian regime responsible
for this heinous crime’’;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Resolution
1540 (2004), affirmed that the proliferation of nuclear,
chemical, and biological weapons constitutes a threat to
international peace and security;

Whereas in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty
Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–175),
Congress found that Syria’s acquisition of weapons of
mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle
East and the national security interests of the United
States;

Whereas the actions and conduct of the Assad regime are in
direct contravention of Syria’s legal obligations under the
United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and
the Protocol to the Hague Convention on the Prohibition

DAV13973 S.L.C.

3

of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other
Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, done
at Geneva June 17, 1925, and also violate the standards
set forth in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development,
Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical
Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Paris January
13, 1993;

Whereas Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction and its
conduct and actions constitute a grave threat to regional
stability, world peace, and the national security interests
of the United States and its allies and partners;

Whereas the objectives of the United States use of military
force in connection with this authorization are to respond
to the use, and deter and degrade the potential future
use, of weapons of mass destruction by the Government
of Syria;

Whereas, on May 21, 2013, the Committee on Foreign Relations
of the Senate passed by a 15-3 vote the Syria Transition
Support Act (S. 960), which found that the President’s
goals of Assad leaving power, an end to the violence,
and a negotiated political settlement in Syria are
prerequisites for a stable, democratic future for Syria and
regional peace and security, but absent decisive changes
to the present military balance of power on the ground
in Syria, sufficient incentives do not yet exist for the
achievement of such goals; and

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution
to use force in order to defend the national security interests
of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives

2
of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

DAV13973 S.L.C.

4

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the ‘‘Authorization
for the Use of Military Force Against the Government
of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons’’.
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES

ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized,
subject to subsection (b), to use the Armed Forces of the
United States as the President determines to be necessary
and appropriate in a limited and specified manner against
legitimate military targets in Syria, only to—
(1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction
by the Government of Syria in the conflict
in Syria;
(2) deter Syria’s use of such weapons in order
to protect the national security interests of the
United States and to protect United States allies
and partners against the use of such weapons;
(3) degrade Syria’s capacity to use such weapons
in the future; and
(4) prevent the transfer to terrorist groups or
other state or non-state actors within Syria of any
weapons of mass destruction.
(b) REQUIREMENT FOR DETERMINATION THAT USE
OF MILITARY FORCE IS NECESSARY.—Before exercising
the authority granted in subsection (a), the President shall

DAV13973 S.L.C.

5

make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President pro tempore of the Senate the
President’s determination that—

(1) the United States has used all appropriate
diplomatic and other peaceful means to prevent the
deployment and use of weapons of mass destruction
by Syria;
(2) the Government of Syria has conducted one
or more significant chemical weapons attacks;
(3) the use of military force is necessary to respond
to the use of chemical weapons by the Government
of Syria;
(4) it is in the core national security interest of
the United States to use such military force;
(5) the United States has a military plan to
achieve the specific goals of—
(A) responding to the use of weapons of
mass destruction by the Government of Syria in
the conflict in Syria;
(B) deterring Syria’s use of such weapons
in order to protect the national security interests
of the United States and to protect United
States allies and partners against the use of
such weapons;

DAV13973 S.L.C.

6

(C) degrading Syria’s capacity to use such
weapons in the future; and
(D) preventing the transfer to terrorist
groups or other state or non-state actors within
Syria of any weapons of mass destruction; and
(6) the use of military force is consistent with
and furthers the goals of the United States strategy
toward Syria, including achieving a negotiated political
settlement to the conflict.
(c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.—
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.—
Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers
Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1547(a)(1)), Congress declares
that this section is intended to constitute specific
statutory authorization within the meaning of
section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50
U.S.C. 1544(b)), within the limits of the authorization
established under this section.
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—
Nothing in this resolution supersedes any
requirement of the War Powers Resolution (50
U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).

DAV13973 S.L.C.

7

SEC. 3. LIMITATION.

The authority granted in section 2(a) does not authorize
the use of the United States Armed Forces on the
ground in Syria for the purpose of combat operations.
SEC. 4. TERMINATION OF THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE

USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

The authorization in section 2(a) shall terminate 60
days after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution,
except that the President may extend, for a single
period of 30 days, such authorization if—

(1) the President determines and certifies to
Congress, not later than 5 days before the date of
termination of the initial authorization, that the extension
is necessary to fulfill the purposes of this
resolution as defined by section 2(a) due to extraordinary
circumstances and for ongoing and impending
military operations against Syria under section
2(a); and
(2) Congress does not enact into law, before the
extension of authorization, a joint resolution disapproving
the extension of the authorization for the
additional 30-day period; provided that any such
joint resolution shall be considered under the expedited
procedures otherwise provided for concurrent
resolutions of disapproval contained in section 7 of
the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1546).

DAV13973 S.L.C.

8

SEC. 5. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

(a) CHANGING OF MOMENTUM ON BATTLEFIELD.—
It is the policy of the United States to change the momentum
on the battlefield in Syria so as to create favorable
conditions for a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict
and leads to a democratic government in Syria.
(b) DEGRADATION OF ABILITY OF REGIME TO USE
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.—A comprehensive
United States strategy in Syria should aim, as part of a
coordinated international effort, to degrade the capabilities
of the Assad regime to use weapons of mass destruction
while upgrading the lethal and non-lethal military capabilities
of vetted elements of Syrian opposition forces,
including the Free Syrian Army.
SEC. 6. SYRIA STRATEGY.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 30 days after the
date of the enactment of this resolution, the President
shall consult with Congress and submit to the Committee
on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee
on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives an integrated
United States Government strategy for achieving
a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Syria,
including a comprehensive review of current and planned
United States diplomatic, political, economic, and military
policy towards Syria.

DAV13973 S.L.C.

9

(b) ELEMENTS.—The strategy required under subsection
(a) shall include—
(1) the provision of all forms of assistance to
the Syrian Supreme Military Council and other Syrian
entities opposed to the government of Bashar Al-
Assad that have been properly and fully vetted and
share common values and interests with the United
States;
(2) the provision of all forms of assistance to
the Syrian political opposition, including the Syrian
Opposition Coalition;
(3) efforts to isolate extremist and terrorist
groups in Syria to prevent their influence on the future
transitional and permanent Syrian governments;
(4) security coordination with allies and regional
partners including Israel, Jordan and Turkey;
(5) efforts to limit support from the Government
of Iran and others for the Syrian regime;
(6) planning for securing existing chemical, biological,
and other weapons supplies; and
(7) efforts to address the ongoing humanitarian
challenges presented by 2,000,000 Syrian refugees
in neighboring countries, and 4,500,000 internally

DAV13973 S.L.C.

10

displaced persons in Syria, and related humanitarian
needs.

SEC. 7. CONGRESSIONAL NOTIFICATION AND REPORTING.

(a) NOTIFICATION AND PROVISION OF INFORMA-
TION.—Upon the President’s determination to use the authority
set forth in section 2, the President shall notify
Congress, including the Committee on Foreign Relations
of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of
the House of Representatives, of the use of such authority
and shall keep Congress fully and currently informed of
the use of such authority.
(b) REPORTS.—Not later than 10 days after the initiation
of military operations under the authority provided
by section 2, and every 20 days thereafter until the completion
of military operations, the President shall submit
to Congress, including the Committee on Foreign Relations
of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs
of the House of Representatives, a report on the status
of such operations, including progress achieved toward the
objectives specified in section 2(a), the financial costs of
operations to date, and an assessment of the impact of
the operations on the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons
capabilities and intentions.

DAV13973 S.L.C.

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SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

The authority set forth in section 2 shall not constitute
an authorization for the use of force or a declaration
of war except to the extent that it authorizes military
action under the conditions, for the specific purposes, and
for the limited period of time set forth in this resolution.

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