House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, in an interview with NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, said Thursday that he believes there is a legal and political requirement for the Obama administration to brief Congress on any upcoming plans for intervention in Syria.
“I’m not sure it’ll be enough,” Rogers said of the unclassified briefing by a senior Obama official set for Thursday. He said he believes Congress needs to have a classified discussion with a group of members, broader than just a few chairmen.
Rogers said that his understanding is that under the War Powers Act, there does not need to be a vote, but he says Congress needs to be fully briefed.
“I think the administration is obligated to do that,” Rogers said. “Again, I think they’re trying to do it on the cheap here. I wouldn’t do it if I were them.”
Rogers said he does not think the U.S. should wait for the U.N. or the British to take action. U.N. weapons inspectors are currently in Syria investigating the site of the alleged Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus, and are due to brief the Security Council over the weekend.
But he added, “You know, the president got himself in a bit of a box when he drew a red line on chemical weapons… This has been the most public, certainly, of the chemical weapons usage. And so now you have a credibility issue on the line with the United States.”