QCA Lawmkers React to Obama's Decision on Syria Intervention - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

QCA Lawmkers React to Obama's Decision on Syria Intervention

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Tensions continue to mount in the United States over the situation in Syria.

President Barack Obama announced on Saturday that he wants the U.S. to take military action against Syria, but will seek Congressional authorization for the use of force.

This announcement comes in response to the reported use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Al-Assad regime against civilians, in an attack that killed more than a thousand civilians last week.

Speaking outside the White House this weekend, President Obama said he has the authority to act on his own when it comes to U.S. intervention, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.

"I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in congress," the President said, saying federal leaders would "schedule a debate and a vote as soon as congress comes back into session."

Meanwhile, In front of the White House on Saturday, there were vocal protests for and against U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war.

A recent poll shows American opinion evenly divided on that issue. But, 80 percent of those surveyed said they wanted the president to seek Congressional approval before taking military action.

Our local lawmakers say they're heading to Washington over the next week to weigh in on the issue.

The House goes back into session after the August recess on September 9, and that's when lawmakers tell us they expect to actually vote on whether or not to take action in Syria.

Many of our Congressmen say they're happy President Obama is sending the issue to them to make the decision.

"At the moment, I think the American people are unconvinced of the wisdom of the move that is apparently being contemplated. And it's important the president lay out the rationale for whatever he's contemplating to the American people and also to Congress," Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) told us.

In a written statement Saturday, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) also said the president is right to include Congress.

Now lawmakers must debate the best response - if any.

"I'm a firm believe whether it has to do with military action or whether it has to do with any governmental action you have to start with the end in mind. So if we do something with missiles in Syria, what's going to be the next step?" Rep. Bustos said.

But, not all of our local lawmakers agree with the president's decision.

"Part of my concern with what the president announced today is I really think the point he decided to come to congress - I don't think he needs authorization from Congress to do what he's talking about doing under the War Powers Act. But, the second he made the decision to come to Congress, he should have called us back right now," Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) said, when we reached him by phone this weekend.

Kinzinger and Loebsack both tell us they fear what Assad might do between now and their September 9 meeting.

Even with his intention to seek approval from congress, President Obama has made it clear that the U.S. military is ready to go, and his order to strike in Syria could come at any time.

Rep. Kinzinger tells us he will vote to take action against Syria.

Meanwhile, Representatives Loebsack and Bustos both tell us they're not making any decisions just yet.

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