Lawmakers released statements today after President Obama's announcement that he will seek Congressional approval before punishing Syria for alleged chemical weapons attack.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL ), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, listened to the president's speech today and participated in a briefing by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Following is Nelson's comment on the situation in Syria: "The president wants to put to rest any doubt the American people may have. I support the president's decision. But as far as I'm concerned, we should strike in Syria today. The use of chemical weapons was inhumane, and those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences."
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on President Obama seeking congressional approval for military action in Syria: "I agree with the decision to seek Congressional approval before taking military action in Syria. And I believe Congress should return to Washington immediately and begin to debate this issue. "The United States should only engage militarily when it is pursuing a clear and attainable national security goal. Military action taken simply to send a message or save face does not meet that standard."
Congressman Trey Radel (FL-19) issued the following statement on the ongoing situation in Syria: "Before making a judgment call and deciding whether to support the President's course of action, I will return to Washington for extensive classified briefings. "The administration needs to make its case, putting #AmericaFirst. They will also need to answer questions on the national security threat facing America, how we prevent our troops from getting dragged into a civil war, and how we are going to prevent the loss of American lives. "Finally, the Administration must lay out a plan, the end goal and an exit strategy."
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) offered the following statement: "President Obama stated earlier today that he will be seeking Congressional authorization for a military strike. The many gaps in his short and insufficient statement include what the military objective would be, what effect it would have in the outcome of the Syrian conflict, and what steps are being taken to protect our allies in the region. “As I previously stated, while I would like to wholeheartedly support our Commander-in-Chief in the event of military action in Syria, any use of force must be purposeful, overwhelming, and in furtherance of specifically enumerated national security interests. Unfortunately, the President has failed to provide a coherent policy on Syria to date. His poorly conceived ‘red line’ unnecessarily leveraged U.S. credibility, and placed him in the regrettable position of either following through on the promised retaliation or confirming that his threat was a hollow one.”