The hardest call during my first year in the Senate was my vote to authorize military force in Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his citizens. When I was sworn in on January 3rd, 2013, I expected difficult votes. But I did not anticipate such a profound vote within my first nine months. Only the 18 Senators who serve on the Foreign Relations Committee had to take that vote on September 4, following President Barack Obama’s decision to ask Congress to formally authorize a military response. But as tough as the vote was, I am glad the President brought it to Congress instead of proceeding on his own. The framers of the Constitution had a clear view. Congress must formally approve the initiation of significant military action and the President, as Commander-in-Chief, is responsible for the day-to-day management of a military action once initiated. The framers understood that a President might need to act before Congressional consideration to defend against attack or protect vital American interests. This made particular sense in the days when Congress frequently recessed for lengthy periods and transportation and communication technology made mustering the body for decision-making very time-consuming. But, even in the instance when a President unilaterally acted to defend the nation, it was still assumed that Congress had to formally ratify the decision to begin military action.