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Rand Paul urges caution on Syria: ‘We should ascertain who used the weapons’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is out with a brief statement on the situation in Syria, calling for a cautious approach and congressional approval for any military action.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) listens during a news conference with other Senate Republicans to announce a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in the U.S. Capitol on March 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

He also appears to question the administration's assertion that the Syrian regime definitely used chemical weapons. Vice President Biden has said there is "no doubt" that it did.

"We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement," Paul said. "The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress, not the President."

Paul also said that he doesn't think taking sides in the conflict would create any new allies.

"The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States," Paul said.

Paul joins with dozens of members in the House calling on President Obama to seek congressional approval for any action.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) have suggested Obama can act without congressional approval.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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