The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution put forth by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Casey (D-PA) that calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the panel’s chairman, opened the April 26 SFRC meeting by warning of the dangers of Assad remaining in power.
“The stakes in Syria are very, very high. The prospects of a full-fledged civil war are very real,” Kerry said, explaining that he will travel to the region during the next Senate recess, which began the next day. “If Assad were to remain in power ... it would really mark a turning point in this Arab awakening and we would have a lot of difficulties dealing with that for a long time to come.”
The resolution calling for democratic change in Syria was approved as amended by a vote of 13 to 6. The panel also approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) that would require the president to report to Congress on issues related to Syria.