NY Congressman Says No To U.S. Military Strikes Against Syria

Sep 3, 2013

Congressman Chris Gibson

At least one congressional representative in the Hudson Valley says he will vote “no” on President Obama’s request to authorize military strikes against the Syrian government in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons.

President Obama has asked Congress to vote on the strikes. Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he will support the call for the U.S. to take action against Syria, yet one of his Republican colleagues in the Hudson Valley - Congressman Chris Gibson – says that’s not a good idea.

Yet he commends the president for bringing the matter before Congress.

Gibson, a retired Army Colonel, says the use of military force could make matters worse.

Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released a statement Tuesday saying the president has laid out a strong and convincing case to the American people for action in Syria. Engel adds that he understands the president’s desire to seek explicit authorization to do so from Congress, and so is calling on the House speaker to immediately recall the House back from recess and debate this critical issue as soon as possible. Congressman Gibson says he’s ready.

Elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey is undecided as to how she would vote. A spokesman for the Congresswoman says Lowey continues to receive briefings from senior national security administration officials. And Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney says that before Congress authorizes military action of any kind, he wants to see more details from President Obama and military leaders and hear the thoughts of Hudson Valley residents. He says the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and requires a unified response, but the U.S. cannot engage in another ground war in the Middle East.

This echoes leader of the House Democrats Nancy Pelosi, who has said the public needs to hear more of the intelligence that led the Obama administration to conclude that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed hundreds of his people using chemical weapons. Pelosi however, has joined the President in calling on Congress to approve U.S. action in response to the attacks. Congressional leaders met at the White House with President Obama Tuesday.