President Barack Obama should consult Congress if he wants to take military action in Syria over the gas attacks the regime is alleged to have undertaken against civilians, U.S. Ron Barber said Wednesday.

Barber, D-Ariz., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the attacks “despicable” and said the U.S. cannot abide them.

“Consultation with Congress is essential,” Barber said. “ Whether congressional approval is required is a constitutional question. But at the very least we need to be consulted before we move on Syria or any other area such as that.”

Barber’s comments came at a news conference with a Pentagon official who was in Southern Arizona to tour defense contractors and military installations.