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Texans In Congress Raise Concerns About Striking Syria

Bill Ingalls

Democrats and Republicans who represent Texas in Congress are weighing in about a potential U.S. military strike against Syria.

  Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, says she understands a need for action but opposes the United States going in alone.

“We cannot go into every country that has an uprising without going through NATO or the UN or a partnership with other countries.  We don’t have the money to take on everybody’s war,” Johnson said Friday. “I really feel for what’s going on there but we have to do it with caution and with understanding about what we are going for; how long will be stay;  when will we determine the results for us to leave,” she said.

During a Wednesday broadcast on a Lubbock radio station Republican Senator John Cornyn said he believes some action is needed because President Obama warned of repercussions if Syria and President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians.

“I believe what I’ve been told and what we’ve all been told that it’s indisputable that chemical weapons have been used.  The President said that’s a ‘red line,’ and I think for him not to do anything since the red line has been crossed would just send a signal to Iran who’s building nuclear weapons , and other bullies of the world that we don’t mean what we say,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn added that a strike would probably require more than “shooting off a few missiles,” a reference to Obama’s saying any action would be limited.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Dallas Republican issued a statement saying the President should “clearly define how military action is in the best interest of our national security and credibility abroad.”

“A decision by the Obama Administration to commit American forces in Syria without meaningful consultation with and support from Congress would be unacceptable,” said Hensarling.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz agreed that Congress should be consulted.

“When and if President Obama makes a decision on Syria, he must immediately call a special session of Congress and persuade the American people that what he proposes is critical to the defense of our nation.”

President Obama said Friday he is considering a military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons that would be a "limited, narrow act."

He said he understands U.S. citizens are war-weary but the United States has an obligation to hold countries accountable if they violate international norms.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.