Sen. Murray, Sen. Cantwell, others respond to strikes on Syria

Sen. Murray, Sen. Cantwell, others respond to strikes on Syria
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Following the military strikes on Syria by the U.S. and foreign allies, Sen. Patty Murray (D) WA, and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) WA, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) WA-05, released statements.

Sen. Murray said the she had questions that needed to be answered.

“President Assad’s use of chemical weapons and attacks on civilians are inexcusable, inhumane, and illegal. While I support the goal of holding President Assad accountable and degrading his ability to use chemical weapons, I have a number of questions and concerns about tonight’s action and the plan moving forward that I am going to want answers to in the days ahead.”

Sen. Cantwell criticized the President for lacking a comprehensive strategy to end conflict.

“The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. It is a violation of international law. The President must lay out a comprehensive strategy to end the conflict, including the humanitarian crisis, and seek an authorization from Congress to avoid any further military escalation.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers urged the President to work with Congress on further strikes, should they be necessary.

“I support the United States and coalition partners’ strikes in Syria. It’s decisive and deliberate action against the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons that killed innocent Syrian civilians, including defenseless children. The United States and our allies must stand together on the world stage against Assad’s reign of terror and to protect innocent human life. As we learn more from the White House, I encourage the President–our Commander in Chief–to continue to engage with Congress should he decide to take any further action.”

Other Washington state congressional representatives also released statements:

Representative Rick Larsen (D, WA-02):

“The international community has long condemned the use of chemical weapons. Their use in the 21st century as a tool of war violates international norms. Using them against civilians is especially terrible. Syria’s use of chemical weapons earned a response from the international community. I support this military action that the U.S. and two of its key allies conducted last night.”

“The U.S. needs to reconcile its national security strategy with a more humane refugee policy. I call on the Administration to reverse its actions to limit the number of Sryian refugees to the United States. In 2016, the U.S. admitted 15,479 Syrian refugees. That number has steadily decreased to 3,024 in 2017 to just 11 so far in 2018. If attacking Syria for its chemical weapons use on its civilians is humane, then allowing more Syrian refugees to escape Syria and create a new life in our great country is at least as humane.”

Representative Dan Newhouse (R, WA-04):

“Assad’s commitment of atrocities using chemical weapons against innocent civilians cannot be tolerated by civilized nations,” said Rep. Newhouse. “While long-term questions remain on our engagement in Syria, I support the decision by President Trump to join with our allies to launch the targeted military response tonight to hold the Assad regime accountable.”

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07):

“President Trump has just conducted another set of unconstitutional strikes. He does not have the power to take these actions without consulting Congress. Only Congress – not the White House – has the power to declare war. Tonight’s airstrikes are not a long term plan to resolve the Syrian crisis, and they will do little to stop a dictator like Assad from repeating his crimes against humanity. We need a considered, debated, real strategy to end the violence in Syria and protect innocent people from dying. These airstrikes are not only unconstitutional, they are dangerously escalating a conflict that could send us into a war with multiple countries. This is a debate that must take place in Congress immediately, and we should be clear that the President has exceeded the authority afforded to him by the Constitution.”

Representative Dave Reichert (R, WA-08):

“Absolutely no one should be treated the way the Syrian government has treated their people. Chemical weapons attacks against innocent men, women, and children cannot be tolerated. It is our responsibility as a world leader to take a stand with our allies against these heinous actions. Discussion of our long-term strategy in Syria will continue, but at this moment it is essential we take a stand. My prayers are with our military forces and those who have witnessed the atrocities of the Assad regime.”