With all the news, rumors and rhetoric being thrown around regarding the US taking action against Syria, we wanted to provide you some information about where our local US Congress members stand. Below we have provided information from Reps, John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, and George Miller.
Although the SF Chronicle is stating Jerry McNerney is leaning “no” as they quoted him stating, “Right now I’m inclined to be against the president’s request,” McNerney said, “but I want to hear the House debate, I want to see what people are saying and I want to see what we are voting on specifically. That’s going to be the turning point.”
A statement directly from his office provided me with the following statement:
“The Congressman continues to review the information and monitor the situation. The decision to use military force is a serious one. He will make a final decision after a House floor debate concludes and the details of the authorization bill are known. He believes that President made the right decision in seeking congressional approval.”
According to the Davis Enterprise, Calls to Rep. John Garamendi’s office are running more than 20-to-1 against the United States taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Garamendi has been very vocal about ensuring a debate occurs while the President goes to Congress for authorization.
The article states at this time, he needs more information so he is a no vote.
“I’m a ‘no’ vote, unless there’s some information that I’ve not yet heard,” Garamendi said.
Garamendi praised the president for turning to Congress for approval, but the congressman said he remained unconvinced of the wisdom of a military strike against Syria — and not fully convinced of the evidence against Assad.
“When you unleash the dogs of war, you don’t know who they’re going to bite,” he said. “They could very well bite us, … We should plan on Syria doing something (in retaliation for a strike), and that may cause an additional response on our part or (on the part of) one of our allies.
“What we have always feared is a regional war. And the current plan perpetuates that fear, causes it to happen. By our own action, we’re bringing surrounding countries into this civil war. Is anybody thinking beyond red lines?”
Meanwhile, here was a message from Rep. Miller (D-Contra Costa County) who at this time also appears to be a “no” vote.
CONCORD, CA – U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Contra Costa County) issued the following statement after reviewing President Obama’s draft resolution for the authorization of military force to strike Syria today:
“I agree with many of my colleagues that the draft authorization for use of force against Syria submitted by President Obama to Congress this weekend is overly broad and therefore unacceptable as a starting point in this important debate.
“The resolution must be rewritten in order for Congress to properly debate whether or not it is warranted and appropriate to launch a narrow and effective military strike to degrade the ability of the Assad government to use chemical weapons against its own citizens and to send a message to all nations that the United States and other countries will not tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction.
“Congress must make it clear that this debate is not about authorizing a broad, unchecked use of force. The debate is over whether or not the evidence of Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria is clear and convincing and, if so, whether a limited and narrow action in response to such a gross violation of international norms is warranted.
“The President has asked us to debate this issue and we will do so with the utmost seriousness that it requires.”
Other Local Members of the US Congress
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: No
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena: Uncommitted
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin: Undecided