By CNN's Kevin Liptak
U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel introduced legislation Monday giving President Barack Obama the authority to provide rebels in Syria "lethal equipment," which the United States has thus far avoided doing over the course of the two-year conflict.
The New York Democrat previewed the legislation Sunday, saying in an interview it was the time for more substantial American investment in the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"I think the Free Syrian Army needs help," Engel said on ABC. "We know who they are. And I think it's time that we make that move."
In a statement Monday, Engel wrote the United States is "long past due to arm friendly rebels and turn the tide to allow for a more hopeful Syrian future."