BOSTON (CBS) – Members of Congress from Massachusetts and New Hampshire are backing President Barack Obama’s decision to consult with lawmakers before launching any attack on Syria.
In a prepared statement Saturday, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., said Obama had made the right decision to confer with Congress, and he called for the president to seek international partners in any strike against the Syrian regime.
“President Obama is making the right decision to call for congressional debate on this difficult question. I have said all along that I think we need a full debate, we need international backing, and we need detailed, complete evidence presented before deciding whether our country should take action in Syria.
“The use of chemical weapons is a heinous and despicable act that appears to be the work of a brutal dictator who has quashed dissent and killed innocent men, women and children. We must be mindful, however, of the complexities of the situation in Syria. The aftermath of a U.S. strike on targets in Syria is difficult to predict, with negative consequences that may be beyond our capability to control. That’s why I am looking forward to a thorough, detailed debate that hears all sides. “
Markey is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said the Syrian government should be punished if it used chemical weapons to attack its own people but did not commit to supporting a U.S. military strike.
“I continue to believe that the Assad regime must be held accountable by the international community for the use of chemical weapons. Authorizing the use of military force, however, is not a decision I take lightly. In the coming days I will consider the upcoming vote carefully before doing what I believe is best for our national security interests,” said Shaheen, who also serves on the Senate foreign relations committee.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., praised Obama’s decision to seek authorization from Congress for the use of force in Syria. “The president is right to come to Congress and seek a vote over military action in Syria. He owes it to the American people, and members of Congress owe it to their constituents, to debate this issue. Congress should return to Washington immediately to consider this matter,” Shea-Porter said in a prepared statement.
On Friday, Shea-Porter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Obama urging him to seek authorization from Congress before taking any military action against Syria.