Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SYRIA | Statements from House and President

HASC Chairman McKeon.
Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, gave his views on the President's request for authorization to use military force in Syria on CNN's New Day, yesterday, September 2, to Anchor Chris Cuomo:
Over the last couple of years the President has surged the troops in Afghanistan while he cut the military budget. He flew missions over Libya while he cut the military’s budget. He changed the strategy to focus on the Pacific, while he cut the military budget. Our military has had over a trillion dollars cut over the last couple of years and going forward. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Chiefs that serve with him have not had any kind of certainty in how they plan and what they look forward to from year to year over the last couple of years.

This Sequestration - the President needs to fix. This would be a great time to fix that. To show the military that while we are asking them to continue on with mission after mission after mission. Instead of cutting back, like [President Obama] told them the day before he announced this decision that they weren’t going to receive the pay next year that they have been planning on.

Instead of doing that kind of thing to our military, we ought to look out for them just as we are looking out for those people in Syria. ... We cannot keep asking the military to perform mission after mission with sequestration and military cuts hanging over their heads. We have to take care of our own people first. ... The world has not gotten safer and yet we are cutting a trillion dollars out of our military- asking them to do more with less.
House Speaker Boehner.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced today (September 3) that he would support President Barack Obama's call for action in Syria, and urged his colleagues to do so as well.
I'm going to support the president's call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action. We have enemies around the world that need to understand that we're not going to tolerate this type of behavior.
His spokesman, Michael Steel, added that the President should be making the case:
The Speaker offered his support for the president’s call to action, and encourages all Members of Congress to do the same. Now, it is the president’s responsibility to make his case to the American people and their elected representatives. 
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Ohio) said today (September 3) that he would support a resolution backing military action.
While the authorizing language will likely change, the underlying reality will not. America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially by a terrorist state such as Syria, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also voiced support for military action in Syria.
President Obama did not draw the red line. Humanity drew it decades ago.
President Barack Obama said that he was confident that Congress would pass a resolution.
So long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to send a clear message to Assad, to degrade his capabilities to use chemical weapons, not just now but also in the future, as long as the authorization allows us to do that, I'm confident that we're going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark.