Northern Illinois House Reaction
10:39 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Congress Reacts to President's Syria Speech

Congress members – like most of the world -- appear to be taking a “wait and see” stance on Syria. 


Northern Illinois Democrats Cheri Bustos and Bill Foster released statements Tuesday night following the President’s speech, praising him for continuing to pursue a diplomatic solution instead of using force to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. Bustos, who represents the 17th District, says there are many questions that still need to be answered before Congress can determine what the proper response will be:

“As this critical debate continues, I maintain my commitment to listening to the people of our region and to receiving the most up-to-date intelligence on the situation in Syria.”    

Foster, who represents the 11th, says military action should only be a government’s last resort. He says his decision on action in Syria will depend upon “diplomatic progress” toward eliminating chemical weapons in Syria, as well as a detailed strategic plan from the President that is limited in time and scope.

“I am pleased to see President Obama pursuing a diplomatic solution in Syria.  Recent developments are an important reminder of why it is critical that we closely examine all the information and options before taking military action.”

14th District Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren also welcomes diplomatic maneuvers to remove access to chemical weapons. However, he was more critical in his evaluation of where the U.S. stands at the moment:

“It was clear to me in the last twenty four hours that we are dealing with a rapidly evolving situation that requires a strong collective response by the international community. I do not believe the President and his administration have made a convincing case to the American people that striking Syria with military force is in the best interest of our nation.”

President Obama has asked Congress to authorize a military strike on Syria, but a vote has been put on hold while diplomatic solutions involving Russia are investigated.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin opposes unilateral military action by the U.S. in Syria. The Democrat calls the use of chemical weapons a global atrocity, and supports a global response.