Congress to rule on Syria strike. What do local Congressmen think?

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Congress to rule on Syria strike. What do local Congressmen think?

By Craig Smith. CREATED Sep 2, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tensions over a possible U.S. Attack on Syria overshadow Labor Day this year.

Now that the President has decided he wants Congress to vote yes or no on an attack, KGUN9 News checked in with our two local Congressmen.

There is plenty of power poised to strike Syria.  Over the last 60 years Presidents including Barack Obama have committed American forces without Congressional okay.  But now he is asking Congress to sign off on an attack against Syria.
The Pima Area Labor Federation's Labor Day picnic at Reid Park brought out both of Southern Arizona's Congressmen, Raul Grijalva and Ron Barber.
Congressman Barber says he deplores what does seem to be the Syrian government using poison gas against civilians but he'll still needs to decide based on how deep the U.S. Commitment would be, and what consequences might be from a U.S. attack.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Congressman Barber: "What if Congress says no but he says, 'Well, I've just got to go ahead anyway?"

Congressman Barber: "Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.  I don't knot if that will be the scenario but that is certainly possible.  I don't know what I'll say or do until that moment arises.  In the meantime my focus is on finding out more so I can make an informed decision."
Congressman Grijalva thinks if Congress voted right away, the vote would go against striking Syria.

He says, "It will be very curious if Congress does not consent.  I think then the President's in a Catch 22. Does he go forward with the action he had planned or does he pull back? I think there's other avenues, the World Court, the UN resolution, UN investigation that would solidify the case against Syria and Assad, that would bring more international support for any action."

Congress is in recess now so won't begin debate on a strike until next Monday, September 9th at the earliest.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press