WASHINGTON D.C., September 18, 2014 – On Wednesday, the House passed a bill authorizing the training and arming of Syrian rebels in their fight against the Islamic State. 159 Republicans and 114 Democrats voted to pass the bill for a final voting tally of 273 to 156.
“Today’s House vote is a step towards making that difference, and I urge the Senate to pass this bill without delay.” – President Obama
President Obama praised the measure stating, “Countries in the region and around the world are coming together to confront ISIL. The United States can make a decisive difference. Today’s House vote is a step towards making that difference, and I urge the Senate to pass this bill without delay.”
The vote comes after multiple days of debate in which many lawmakers from both parties expressed concern about the scope and benefits of the bill. The bill passed as an amendment to a stopgap spending bill.
The amendment limits the scope of authorization to training up to 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition. The bill provides no new funding, but does authorize the Pentagon to shift funds from other accounts if necessary.