POLITICS
08/28/2013 12:22 am ET | Updated Aug 28, 2013

White House Calls Foreign Leaders Regarding Syria, Congress Wants A Call Too

While the White House has been busy placing calls to foreign leaders to consult them regarding the situation in Syria, United States representatives are wondering why they're being left out in the cold.

On Tuesday, the White House released a list of phone calls to foreign leaders made by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other senior officials since last Thursday. The call recipients include British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that Obama is in the process of consulting key leaders.

"So what the President is engaged in is a process of deciding, as he consults with international allies and as his administration consults with Congress, about what the appropriate response to this flagrant violation of international norms should be," said Carney. "And there must be a response."

But some members of Congress don't want a response. Not without their consent, at least.

In a letter signed by a predominantly Republican group of House members, Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) demanded that Obama consult Congress before launching a responsive military attack.

“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution,” wrote Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.).

The letter was signed by 33 lawmakers as of Tuesday evening, Politico reported. While the House of Representatives is not meant to return from recess until September 9, Rigell said the lawmakers would return in order to weigh in on a Syrian attack.

“If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your convenience," he wrote.

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