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Daily Action: Send Congress Back To Work on Syria

Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976 
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Steve Knight:
DC: (202) 225-1956
Simi Valley: (805) 581-7130
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000

Short Script:
Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Representative/Senator _________'s in ____________, California. I'm calling to express my alarm over the incoherent and dangerous way that the Trump administration is conducting our foreign policy, and to demand that Congress go back into session and hold a real debate over Syria, Russia and other issues. Nancy Pelosi is right: This is no time for Congress to be in recess! Thursday night's airstrike in Syria came just a few days after Trump and his Secretary of State suggested the U.S. would never intervene against Syria's government -- and it happened in the midst of Trump's attempts to stop our nation from taking in refugee victims of that government, just because of their religion. And everything Trump does is overshadowed by his potential collusion with Russia's interference in our elections -- another topic Congress should be investigating instead of taking a two-week recess. Please let the Senator/Congressperson know that I want her/him to get back to work, and re-establish Congress' constitutional role in our foreign policy! Thank you.

On Thursday night the United States military launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, in retaliation for the Assad government's apparent use of sarin gas on its own people in the town of Idlib earlier this week. The strike represented an abrupt about-face for Trump, who had spent the first weeks of his term downplaying opposition to Assad -- part of Trump's effort to establish friendlier relations between his government and that of Russia, which is the principal international backer of the status quo in Syria. In fact, just this week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said that Assad's fate was "in the hands of his people," and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had said that the U.S. needed to accept "the political reality" in Syria.

The airstrike occurred just as members of both houses of Congress departed Washington for a two-week recess, not due to resume business until April 24. They left town as concerns over the Trump administration's inappropriate relationships with Russia were escalating further; the most recent revelations Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner's failure to disclose his recent meetings with Russian officials on his application for high-level security clearance.  On Friday morning, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, calling on him to bring lawmakers back into session to revive the long-dormant debate over a new congressional Authorization of Military Force against Syria.

"As heartbreaking as Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes," Pelosi wrote to Ryan. "The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria."

The Trump administration already has come under criticism for its haphazard approach to military strikes elsewhere in the Middle East, including Yemen, Iraq and elsewhere in Syria. Those attacks, which have left hundreds of civilians dead, suggest that Trump is less concerned than his predecessors have been with avoiding such "collateral damage" in his pursuit of military objectives.