QCA Congressmen React after President Requests Authorization - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

QCA Congressmen React after President Requests Authorization


After President Obama announced he is seeking authorization from Congress before taking action in Syria, lawmakers across the QCA spoke out.

On Sunday Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) Harkin released this statement:


"I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered.  I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial.  The atrocious use of chemical weapons against civilians is an affront to human values and a violation of international law.  It should be condemned by the international community as a whole.    "The coming debate in Congress will hopefully shine the light on outstanding questions -- as will the results of the U.N. inspection team.  We must wait for these results before any action is taken.  What I hear from Iowans is that the Middle East has a complex history and the conflicts there will not be solved by U.S. military action alone.  We should not rush into what may become a new open-ended war without broad international backing or a full understanding of the ramifications."


On Saturday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today regarding the situation in Syria:


"The President gave a powerful and historic speech this afternoon, challenging Congress and the American people to begin a debate about how to respond to the atrocities in Syria. As we decide what, if anything, we will do as nation to respond, the President has called for a national conversation and for Congress to approve any use of force. That is the right first step.


What has happened in Syria is a moral outrage. Syrian President Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, including hundreds of children. The civilized world must now decide how to respond."


But in my conversations and briefings over the last few days, one thing has been made clear: no US troops will be committed to fight in Syria. We have ended the war in Iraq and are winding down the war in Afghanistan - the longest war in our nation's history. The cost of human lives and treasure to our country over the last 12 years of war has been overwhelming. If we can do something to discourage Assad and others like him from using chemical weapons without engaging in a war and without making a long-term military commitment of the United States, I'm open to that debate."



Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) told KWQC-TV on Saturday night:


"What has happened in Syria is unthinkable and a horrible reality.  President Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, including hundreds of children - an act that should not be tolerated and deserves a response.  However, many questions remain before we can determine the most appropriate course of action.


The President is right to include Congress on this decision. Now we must debate on the best response, if any, by our country.  If we can take steps to reign in Assad's use of chemical weapons without engaging in a war and committing troops, I'm open to weighing courses of action with a clear purpose and defined end goals."


Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) released the following statement Saturday:


"Congress should be a part of deciding the proper use of American force in Syria and ensuring that, before we take action, there is a plan for the aftermath of any military intervention. I believe the President is making the right decision to seek Congressional authorization before taking any military action in Syria.


In the coming days, I will carefully review the case for military action in Syria. Before putting American lives at risk and spending millions of taxpayer dollars, we must be confident that any American involvement in Syria serves our national security interests first and avoids getting the United States involved in an open-ended military commitment.


I urge House leaders to call Congress back into session immediately to debate this important question."


And Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) released the following statement Saturday following the President's speech on the situation in Syria. 


"I have called on the President to seek congressional authorization but more importantly, before any action is taken, the administration must make the case to the American people and the American people must support it. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I was briefed by the White House and believe the Administration must lay out their strategic reasoning behind military action, define the national security reasoning for such action, and establish an end goal for potential use of force.


The use of chemical weapons against civilians is morally reprehensible and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community. However, after more than a decade of war during which time our troops and military families have made great sacrifices on our behalf, we must exercise extreme caution in undertaking military action."