In the days approaching the U.S. Congress’ return from recess and a vote on potential military strikes on the country of Syria, Texas’ lawmakers are expressing caution about the case being laid out by President Barack Obama.
“There are no simple answers,” U.S. Rep. Randy Weber said in a statement made to The Daily News. “The U.S. should view every country and every situation individually and not try to establish or espouse a one-size-fits-all strategy for every country or every situation. The use of chemical weapons, while a direct violation of international law, is not enough to justify our military involvement.”
Weber said he wanted to learn more about the intelligence coming out of the Middle East and wanted to hear from his constituents about whether they believe the U.S. should become more involved.
The debate about what action, if any, Congress might approve is in its infancy as lawmakers prepare for public hearings this week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But the first contours began emerging within hours of Obama’s announcement Saturday.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he doesn’t believe Syria should go unpunished for the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus.
“But we need to understand what the whole scope of consequences is,” he said by telephone. “What the president may perceive as limited ... won’t stop there.”
Obama spent Labor Day meeting with Republican leaders who had previously called for military action in Syria.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told reporters at the White House that Obama’s intervention now will be more difficult because Syrian President Bashar Assad “is moving his forces around.” Both McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, questioned the wisdom of the administration publicly signaling in advance its intention to strike.
McCain said he believes lawmakers awaiting a critical vote on Syria “must be assured that this is different from the past two years of neglect” on the part of the administration.