Grassley, Loebsack react to Obama’s prime-time speech

Staff for two members of Iowa’s congressional delegation quickly emailed statements of reaction to President Obama’s prime-time speech about Syria. Read them below:

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa tonight made the following comment on President Obama’s outline for possible U.S. military action in Syria.

“Yesterday afternoon I went to the White House for a secured briefing about Syria with Vice President Biden.  Today, I listened to the President directly when he came to Capitol Hill to talk with senators, as well as his speech on TV tonight.  I appreciate the complicated issues the President faces.  Still, I don’t think the case for military action has been made.  From what I have heard, Iowans strongly oppose military action by the United States. They have concerns and questions about what the President has proposed. If the goal is to deter and degrade Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, how would a limited strike achieve this goal?  What are the risks of military action? What is the U.S. national interest in striking Syria? I’m still leaning against the authorization for the use of force that’s been presented. In addition, the Russian proposal to force Assad to turn over chemical weapons to international monitors presents a possible alternative. Military action should be the last resort, so this diplomatic offer, if credible and enforceable, needs to be considered.”

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement this evening after President Obama addressed the nation regarding Syria. 

“I think the Administration has been moving too quickly on Syria and am pleased that the vote to authorize the use of force has been taken off the table at this time. The use of chemical weapons against civilians is morally reprehensible and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community. While I remain skeptical of the prospects for success of the proposed diplomatic plan, we should always examine any diplomatic option that is presented. At this point I cannot support the use of unilateral U.S. military force in Syria. Too many pieces of the puzzle are left on the table to authorize such a dramatic step. After more than a decade of war during which time our troops and military families have made great sacrifices on our behalf, we must exercise extreme caution in undertaking any military action.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.