Austin admits admin should’ve notified Congress ‘earlier’ about Syria strike


The gap prompted Republicans to question if the administration held off on notifying Congress to shield Kurilla from tough questions and to ensure the war-powers measure sailed through the upper chamber.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked Austin on Tuesday if the Pentagon’s congressional affairs team should’ve notified Congress sooner, especially because of the war powers vote. Austin agreed: “We should’ve notified you earlier.”

The secretary noted that the U.S. suffered an attack and responded in one day, letting Congress know about both events in between. “We take the War Powers Act very seriously,” Austin said, seated alongside Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley.

Later in the hearing, Austin told Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that there was no connection between the notifications and the war powers vote.

“Secretary Austin, I don’t believe you,” Cotton responded, noting that an amendment by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) “directly touched” on the Syria strike scenario. “That’s my belief, nothing you can say is going to change my belief on that.”

“I just want to say, senator, that is absolutely not true,” Austin said.

“Maybe you didn’t personally do it, but I believe entirely that people in your office did that,” Cotton replied.

Tess Bridgeman, the co-editor in chief of Just Security, told POLITICO on Monday that the executive branch isn’t required to include casualty information in reports to Congress.

“That said, the Biden administration did include casualty information in its notification to Congress, even though it was not required to do so,” she added.

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( With inputs from : )


TheNewsCaravan News Desk

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