WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence communicated with members of Congress Friday evening over U.S. strikes in Syria, a duty he conducted from Lima, Peru.
Jarrod Agen, Pence’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, said Pence left the opening ceremony for the Summit of the Americas to place phone calls to Congressional leadership.
Agen told reporters that Pence spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Following last week’s apparent chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, President Donald Trump canceled a planned visit to South America to oversee the U.S. response.
In a statement, Pelosi noted that the attack in Syria deserved a strong response, but called for a clear strategy on Syria.
Pelosi added that Congress must pass an Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to formally sanction the military action.
Ryan said on Thursday that he will not be pushing for an AUMF out of concern that it will hobble the military.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise issued a statement supporting the president’s decision to carry out the strikes alongside the United Kingdom and France.
“President Trump is right to assert that the Assad regime’s evil acts cannot go unanswered, and the nations that enable Assad’s murderous acts – namely Russia and Iran – must be put on notice and held to account,” Scalise said.