Senators need persuading over Obama’s Syria plans

President Barack Obama has a high bar to persuade Colorado’s two Democratic senators to support an attack on Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons.

Based on the information currently available, he’s opposed to military action, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said, adding that he hoped Obama would be bound by Congress’ decision.

Obama agreed over the holiday weekend to seek congressional approval for military action in Syria.

“The chemical weapons attacks in Syria should be met with serious consequences and there are a number of options on the table, including the president’s proposal, which Congress will debate and consider,” Tipton said. “Military action should always be the last resort and the use of military force should be in the best interest of the United States and/or our interests first and foremost.”

Obama should not act before Congress has its say, Tipton said, calling for equal debate in both houses and saying that Obama should “ultimately adhere to the outcome of the votes we will take.”

The president should spell out his goals to Congress, Udall’s office said, noting that Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, has been following the situation in Syria closely and insists that the administration “must lay out the objectives of possible military action before it can be authorized.”

Even a limited strike in Syria “could lead the United States into deeper involvement in a complicated civil war,” Udall’s office noted.

Bennet also stressed the complicated nature of the Middle East and other factors in urging caution and noting the deplorable use of chemical weapons.

“We must consider the enormous challenges in the region and the complexity of the situation that includes a military already stretched thin, a nation in civil war, and a region in transition,” Bennet said in a statement.

Tipton last week was among 116 signers of a letter to Obama saying that if the president deems military action to be necessary, “We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.”


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