Washington (CNN) - The top Republican in the Senate says he'll oppose a resolution to authorize U.S. military action against Syria.
"I will be voting against this resolution. Our vital national security risk is clearly not at play," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky Tuesday.
McConnell becomes the only one of the top four party leaders in Congress to oppose the resolution, which would allow for a limited strike against Syrian government forces for their alleged use of chemical weapons against their own citizens.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) have all publicly come out in support of President Barack Obama's call for congressional approval of limited action against Syria.
"There are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria including the fact that this proposal is utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war there, and on the specific question of deterring the use of chemical weapons the president's proposal appears to be based actually on a contradiction," said McConnell, in a speech on the floor of the Senate. "Either we will strike targets that threaten the stability of the regime, something the president says he does not intend to do, or we will execute a strike so narrow as to be a mere demonstration."
The Senate GOP leader is running for a sixth term in office next year. He faces what could be a tough re-election, not only from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate, but also from well-funded Republican primary challenger Matt Bevin, a businessman. Bevin had earlier come out against the Syria resolution and urged McConnell to take a stance.
"Congratulations to Sen. McConnell for finally coming off the sidelines and reaching a decision on Syria after Matt Bevin, other congressional leaders, and a majority of the public made up their minds against an attack," said a statement from the Bevin campaign following McConnell's Senate speech.