The House Armed Services Committee on Monday introduced language that authorizes President Barack Obama to arm and train Syrian fighters against the Islamic State, but it also requires the administration to provide progress reports every three months.
The committee proposed the language as an amendment to a short-term government funding bill that the House is expected to pass this week. But as expected, Republicans were thought to be adding language that requires the Obama administration to give Congress constant updates about how its plan to arm Syrian rebels is faring.
President Barack Obama will get his Syria authorization, but it will require the administration to update Congress with periodic progress reports. Alex Wong/Getty Images
The language released late Monday authorizes the administration to train and equip "appropriately better elements" of the Syrian opposition and "other appropriately vetted Syrian groups."
Those groups are ones that defend people from attacks by the Islamic State, protect U.S. and its allies from terrorist, and promoting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the fighting in Syria, according to the amendment.
The language requires the Defense Department to report to Congress within 15 days after first providing training or equipment. That report must include a plan for the aid, details on how groups are being vetted, and details on what monitoring exists to ensure there is no unauthorized end use of the equipment sent.
Plan must also include timelines, the number of U.S. troops involved, and other details. Then, every 90 days, the Defense Department must provide progress reports that include changes to the plan, details on the groups, and others.
The language doesn't provide any funding, but it allows the Defense Department to ask Congress to reprogram funds in order to carry out its operations.
Read a copy of the short Syria amendment here: