Ga. Congressmen Cautious On Syria
Many members of Georgia’s congressional delegation struck a cautious tone over the holiday weekend about taking military action in Syria in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack.
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey says President Obama is right to seek congressional approval before a military strike on Syria.
However, the Marietta Republican said in a statement that the U.S. "must not get mired down in the Syrian civil war."
The debate comes after Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was blamed by the U.S. and the Syrian opposition for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson says he's "deeply skeptical" that using force against Syria is in the nation's interest.
The Democrat from Lithonia said in a statement that he doesn't believe President Obama needs Congressional approval to conduct limited strikes in Syria. He said he respects the president's decision to seek authorization from lawmakers before taking military action.
U.S. Rep. David Scott says "more answers are needed" before U.S. resources are spent on what he described as another Middle Eastern conflict. The Atlanta Democrat said in a statement that he's written President Barack Obama to urge that Congress be consulted before military action is taken against Syria.
Lawrenceville Republican Rep. Rob Woodall says that based on what he knows now, he does not support an American attack on Syria.
The Republican from Lawrenceville said in a statement released over the weekend that if President Barack Obama wants to take military action, he's welcome to come to Capitol Hill and make his case to Congress and the American people.
President Obama said he has decided that the U.S. should take military action against Syria but is seeking congressional authorization. A vote is expected after Congress returns to work Sept. 9.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston says he's leaning against taking military action against Syria, but says there are many questions yet to be answered before a final decision is made.
The Republican from Savannah made the comments during a media briefing on Monday in Savannah.
Earlier in the weekend, Georgia’s U.S. senators said they support a strike in Syria.
“It is appropriate for the president to seek authorization from Congress, although I wish he would have called us back to vote on this immediately rather than waiting until Sept. 9,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson in a statement Saturday. “I support the use of military action in Syria. If we fail to take strong action against Syria for this horrendous attack, then we are sending a signal to Syria as well as to Iran and North Korea that they are accountable to no one.”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss echoed the call for immediate congressional action, criticizing the president for not acting more quickly.
"I believe the evidence is clear that the president's red-line was crossed long ago, and the United States must respond,” he said in a statement Saturday. “Leadership is about reacting to a crisis, and quickly making the hard and tough decisions. The president should have demanded Congress return immediately and debate this most serious issue.”
Contributors: GPB's Joshua Stewart contributed to this report.
Tags: Syria, Congress, Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Phil Gingrey, Rob Woodall