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September 17, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C.Today, the House of Representatives voted 273-156 to pass the McKeon Amendment, which gives President Obama authorization to begin training Syrian opposition forces in response to the growing threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Representative David Price (NC-04) spoke on the House floorin support of the amendment and released the following statement after it passed.

“It has become clear that ISIL’s brutal campaign of conquest in Iraq and Syria imperils U.S. security interests and that this extremist organization could, in the absence of immediate action, further destabilize the Middle East and establish a staging ground for terrorist activities aimed at American assets. President Obama has laid out a carefully-targeted military and diplomatic strategy for confronting this grave threat with the cooperation of a strong coalition of allies in the region and from around the world.

“The President and his senior advisors have acknowledged and taken great pains to address the potential consequences of intervention, and we all recognize there are no perfect or easy solutions.  But the President believes – and I agree – that the consequences of inaction far outweigh the risks posed by a narrowly-targeted and well-considered U.S. role. 

“Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve one component of the President’s strategy – training and equipping credible Syrian opposition forces who have taken up arms against ISIL. The House resolution is limited in timing and in scope, lasting only as long as the Continuing Resolution it is attached to, December 11.  Further, it specifically states that this language does not constitute an authorization of the use of force beyond air strikes.

“As an elected official, I take seriously my responsibility to weigh the costs and benefits of alternative courses of action and inaction. We must make the best decision we can, and that means countering this immediate threat in a careful and measured way that gives Congress considerable power of oversight. This resolution is necessary to getting underway an important part of the President’s strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL, and it will give the House of Representatives the ability to oversee the implementation of that strategy and make course corrections over the coming months.”