'Obama Is Abdicating His Responsibility,' Congressman Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) blasted President Barack Obama’s decision to ask Congress for authorization for a strike on Syria.

King said in a statement that Obama does not need authorization from Congress, and is undermining the power of the office by requesting it.

“President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents. The president does not need Congress to authorize a strike on Syria,” King said in a statement. “If Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians deserves a military response, and I believe it does, and if the president is seeking congressional approval, then he should call Congress back into a special session at the earliest date. The president doesn’t need 535 Members of Congress to enforce his own redline.”

With Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea ready to strike, Obama said he had decided the United States should take military action, but also determined “our country will be better off” if Congress renders its own opinion.

But Obama asked members of both parties in Congress to “take this vote for national security,” and said “all of us should be accountable as we move forward.” Members of Congress will have an opportunity to debate the proposed authorization and vote upon it.

He challenged lawmakers to consider “what message will we send to a dictator” if he is allowed to killed hundreds of children with chemical weapons without suffering any retaliation.

He said he would not be waiting for the United Nations to come to a conclusion on the issue.

“I’m comfortable going forward without the approval of a U.N. Security Council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold (Syrian President President Bashar al-) Assad accountable,” Obama said.

Congress is scheduled to return from a summer vacation on Sept. 9.

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