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MO, AR Delegations Largely Skeptical of Syria Strike

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After receiving responses from half of Missouri and Arkansas' congressional delegations, a picture of lawmakers hesitant to strike is emerging.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After receiving responses from more than half of Missouri and Arkansas' congressional delegations, a picture of lawmakers hesitant to strike is emerging.


"After weeks of claiming he could and would make this decision on his own, the president's announcement today marks an astonishing change of course. While congressional approval is the best course of action and the right thing to do, it would have been the right course of action months ago."  (Posted on website, not sent to KOLR10 News as a response to questions)


"It's the right course of action for the President to seek Congressional approval for a strike against Syria. A dictator's illegal and brutal murder of innocent civilians with chemical weapons has clear implications for our national security, and for the safety of our allies, but we must avoid becoming entangled in another long, costly military campaign. I hope that members of Congress leave politics at the door and approach this debate thoughtfully, and that this consultation can help advance America's strategic goals."



From a spokesperson: "Congressman Clay has not yet reached a decision because he wants to examine the evidence further and allow the full congressional debate to go forward."



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From a spokesperson: "The Congresswoman has strong reservations about the wisdom of carrying out an attack on Syria, and she has doubts about the U.S. interests in the matter. But she wants to see the classified intelligence and hear from her constituents before deciding how to vote."



"I have been one of the biggest proponents of enforcement of the War Powers Act, so I think the President is doing the right thing by coming to Congress," said U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II. "I am still opposed to military action, but I want to hear more from constituents and continue getting additional information that should be available to Members of Congress in the next couple of days."



“I am concerned about the specter of American military involvement in Syria and how it would serve our vital national interest.  In the coming days, I will continue to thoroughly review the president’s case and all evidence the Administration lays out regarding the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, and will make a determination after carefully examining all relevant considerations.” 



"The president has yet to adequately explain to the American people how our national interests are threatened in this situation and how the action proposed would protect those interests.  As a result, I remain very skeptical of involving our country in another country's civil war."



"In the Constitution, our Founding Fathers gave Congress the authority to authorize military action. Congress should use that authority to determine the best course of action in dealing with Syria. I have serious concerns about any military involvement in Syria because the situation has no clear national securities connections to the United States and victory of any proposed military action has not been defined.  We should not put our men and women in uniform in harm's way without clear objectives and a sensible strategy."



"Today I attended a classified briefing for House and Senate members concerning the grave and disturbing situation in Syria, and I continue to believe it is imperative for the Administration to explore and pursue alternatives to immediate unilateral military action.  Please continue to keep our nation's leadership in your prayers especially those in our nation's military."



"The President is required by statute and the Constitution to obtain the approval of Congress before military action in Syria.  I am encouraged to see the President will seek our counsel and approval.  Many of my constituents and I are deeply skeptical of the President's stated desire to launch an attack on Syria.  I look forward to hearing the President's case and reviewing the intelligence.  However, the President has a lot of work to do to convince Arkansans and me that U.S. military action is appropriate in this instance."



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"In recent days, I have participated in classified briefings about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  I also read the top-secret classified report made available to representatives and senators.  The briefings and report contain the evidence supporting the administration’s publicly stated conclusions; this evidence cannot be made public without compromising vital intelligence sources and methods.
 
Having reviewed the evidence, I have virtually no doubt that the administration’s publicly stated conclusions are accurate: Bashar al-Assad’s regime intentionally used chemical weapons on August 21 against opposition-controlled suburbs of Damascus.  Alternative theories of culpability are not plausible at this time given the evidence I have reviewed.  Assad’s use of chemical weapons last month is consistent with his pattern of using such weapons to break a stalemate in areas that he has struggled to seize.
 
Arkansans can read the intelligence community’s public assessment here.  I encourage Arkansans to contact my office if they have questions or concerns, or to share their views." (Posted on website, not sent to KOLR10 News as a response to questions)


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