U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart said President Barack Obama needs to convince him, fellow congressmen and the nation how military strikes in Syria protect security here at home after hearing a classified briefing Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Enyart, D-Belleville, flew to Washington after the president announced Saturday he would seek congressional authorization to carry out limited military strikes against Syria in response to alleged use of chemical weapons.
While Enyart said he doesn’t doubt the validity of the intelligence about the chemical attacks, he unconvinced at this point how the U.S. plans to respond will do any good.
“After two costly and prolonged wars, there is very little tolerance for another U.S. military operation by the people of Southern Illinois or by my colleagues in Congress,” a statement from Enyart said after Sunday’s briefing. “If President Obama believes action is needed, he must lay out a convincing case to the American public first.”
Enyart, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, was one of 120 lawmakers to sign a recent letter urging the president to seek congressional authorization. A debate is scheduled to take place next week.
A spokesman for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus,
R-Collinsville, said the congressman wasn’t able to make it to Washington for Sunday’s briefing. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, and Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, have expressed support in the president’s decision to seek authorization.
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