WASHINGTON (KFVS) - Lawmakers in Missouri and Illinois have released statements after President Barack Obama's comments Saturday on Syria. The president called on Congress to authorize military action.
"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," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). 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."
Senator Blunt is one of three members to serve on both the defense authorizing and appropriations committees in the U.S. Senate. He also serves as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.
Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement:
"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."