“The administration should also redouble efforts to persuade key countries and companies to ratchet up the pressure on Assad — in particular by sanctioning the Syrian energy sector and by seeking tough action at the United Nations Security Council,” Lieberman wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “A binding resolution condemning the regime’s human rights abuses and imposing sanctions directly on Assad and his lieutenants is now critical.”
A group of 66 Senators sent a letter to Obama two weeks ago calling on him to impose harsher sanctions against Syria. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who helped lead that campaign, said Obama’s announcement Thursday adequately fulfills the priorities outlined in that letter.
“For weeks, we have watched the Syrian people endure horrific violence, including the indiscriminate massacre of civilians,” she said in a statement. “Today’s actions by President Obama send an unequivocal message that the regime’s tactics have repulsed the entire world.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.