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House Defense bill limits aid to Syrian rebels

The House version of the Defense appropriations bill, released today, restricts assistance to Syrian opposition forces.
U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) talks to a television reporter during interviews in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 15, 2014. Moran, a 12-term Virginia liberal, became on Wednesday the third member of his party this week to announce he will not seek re-election in November. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX17FDA

House appropriators unveiled a $570 billion Defense spending bill on May 29 that prohibits the Barack Obama administration from drastically expanding its assistance to the Syrian opposition without first getting Congress to sign off.

The restrictive language comes as the White House and the Senate Armed Services Committee have been indicating a desire for stepped-up US support for vetted rebel forces, perhaps by shifting training from the CIA to the Department of Defense. The House bill serves as a reminder that there's little appetite, especially in the Republican-controlled House, for any policy change that could pull the United States into another war in the region.

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