Galveston County’s representatives in Washington D.C. said Friday they supported a U.S. missile attack in Syria that President Donald Trump ordered Thursday night.
“For six long years, the Obama Administration did nothing but draw redlines in the sand, only to let Assad step over them with no repercussions,” said U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, in a prepared statement. “This is no longer the case. President Trump showed that he is ready and willing to act with appropriate speed and strength. I support President Trump’s targeted military strike on the Syrian airfield.”
Two U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.
It was the first time during the country’s six year civil war that the United States has staged a direct attack on the Syrian government, although the military has targeted ISIS militants who are fighting in the war.
The attack drew support from conservative congressmen, like Weber, as well as from Texas’ junior Senator Ted Cruz, who said the attack projected the United States’ strength and would make enemies “fear us.”
“After eight years of Obama’s broken redlines and weakness, we have seen Syria turned into a war zone that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees and chemical weapons, it is a bad situation,” Cruz said on Fox News’ “America Newsroom” on Friday morning.
Cruz added he thought Trump should come to Congress for authorization before using more force.
“That being said, the authority to declare war under the Constitution is given to Congress. The Commander-in-Chief acted last night, and I look forward to President Trump making the case to the American people and to Congress to see what further military action should be taken, if any,” he said.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said that Trump responded “quickly and proportionately” and commended the president for “sending a clear message” to Assad.
Friday’s statements of support mark a notable difference from the last time members of Congress were asked to consider the role of the U.S. military in the Syrian civil war.
In September 2013, President Barack Obama asked Congress to vote to support the use of military force in Syria. The legislation asking for support was pulled when it became clear legislators would not support it.
Cornyn himself was vocal about requiring Obama to seek Congress’ approval before using the military in Syria, although he never clearly said that he supported or opposed an attack.
Weber and Cruz stood against Obama.
“The use of chemical weapons, while a direct violation of international law, is not enough to justify our military involvement,” Weber said at the time.
Supporters of Trump’s actions who didn’t support Obama say one difference between then and now are claims made by Syria and Russia that chemical weapons had been removed from Syria following the 2013 attack. The most recent attacks have proved those claims wrong, they say.
Cruz was more vocal in his opposition to Obama’s proposed use of force. He wrote in The Washington Post that Syria’s use of chemical weapons were not a direct threat to the United States and that striking the country could lead to escalation. He said he would vote against using force.
“It is not the job of U.S. troops to police international norms or to send messages,” Cruz said.