WASHINGTON, D.C. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- U.S. Senator Ed Markey released a statement Wednesday hours after voting "present" during a vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that ultimately approved a resolution giving President Obama authority to use military force against Syria.
"Before casting such a monumental vote, I need to review all of the relevant classified materials relating to this matter before I make a decision as important as authorizing the use of military force," said the senator. "The people of Massachusetts expect their representatives to have analyzed all of the facts prior to making a decision of this magnitude."
Sen. Markey said the use of chemical weapons is a "heinous and despicable act that is outside the bounds of civilized conduct."
"I am concerned about the unintended consequences of a U.S. military attack on Syria and the potential that such a strike could lead, over time, to the entanglement of our brave service men and women in an intractable Syrian civil war," said Sen. Markey.
Markey added that the current version of the resolution, which cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a 10-7 vote Wednesday, contains language he believes could be interpreted as "expanding the scope of the U.S. military action beyond merely the degradation and deterrence of Assad's chemical weapons capability."
The freshman senator plans to examine classified intelligence information and consult experts before he decides how he will vote on the final resolution when it is weighed on the Senate floor.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren also voiced plans to attend a classified briefing Friday for members of Congress. The senior senator from Mass. described President Obama's request as "very open ended," she also called the actions of Syrian President Bashar Assad reprehensible, but said her job is to look out for the best interests of the United States.
The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week. It would allow the president to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn't exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations. The measure was altered at the last minute to support "decisive changes to the present military balance of power" in Syria's civil war.
The Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, crafted the resolution.
The vote marked the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 votes that gave President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq.
Comment posted by Scott Brown on his Facebook page:
"If you saw the new Senator from MA - Sen. Markey, he voted "present" in the Committee on Foreign Relations vote today. Please let him know that the people of MA did not send him down there to vote "present", they sent him down there to at least vote. He gets a check, he should vote. I did not agree with John Kerry on much, but at least he would have had the guts to vote. Markey said he needs more time to analyze the information. He sits on the Committee that gets all the information. Unreal. Let's see who covers for him."
Full statement from Sen. Markey:
Washington (September 4, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after voting "present" at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee mark-up of the Senate resolution, "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons".
"The use of chemical weapons is a heinous and despicable act that is outside the bounds of civilized conduct.
"I participated in today's committee consideration of the resolution and yesterday's hearing as well as various classified intelligence briefings held since the President announced on Saturday that he would seek congressional authorization to strike the Assad regime.
"Before casting such a monumental vote, I need to review all of the relevant classified materials relating to this matter before I make a decision as important as authorizing the use of military force. The people of Massachusetts expect their representatives to have analyzed all of the facts prior to making a decision of this magnitude.
"I am concerned about the unintended consequences of a U.S. military attack on Syria and the potential that such a strike could lead, over time, to the entanglement of our brave service men and women in an intractable Syrian civil war.
"The resolution as currently drafted contains language that could be interpreted as expanding the scope of the U.S. military action beyond merely the degradation and deterrence of Assad's chemical weapons capability.
"The current version of the resolution goes beyond the President's objective of responding to the use of chemical weapons to call for a broader U.S. political and military strategy in Syria that includes expanded support for various opposition groups, efforts to limit support for the Syrian regime from the Government of Iran and activities to isolate terrorist groups in Syria.
"Although some of these may be desirable objectives, as written they could result in deeper U.S. military involvement in a country inflamed by sectarian violence.
"In the days to come, I will further examine the classified intelligence information and consult with experts before deciding how I will vote on the final resolution when it is considered on the Senate floor."
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