Members of Arizona's congressional delegation are offering reaction to President Obama's announcement that he will seek Congress' approval before taking military action in Syria.
CBS 5 has extended interview opportunities to each of the nine representatives who serve Arizona and our two senators.
Below are the statements provided to us, at this point, by local members of Congress concerning the conflict in Syria.
Senator John McCain (R) Arizona: (Joint Statement with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
"We believe President Obama is correct that the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons requires a military response by the United States and our friends and allies. Since the President is now seeking Congressional support for this action, the Congress must act as soon as possible.
"However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President's stated goal of Assad's removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests.
"Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. And it would send the wrong signal to America's friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world - all of whom are watching closely what actions America will take."
Senator Jeff Flake (R) Arizona:
"The potential consequences of U.S. military action in Syria are serious. As the Senate prepares to vote on military action, I will review all classified and unclassified information to properly assess the implications of U.S. action and the impact on U.S. interests."
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D) District 1:
"Reports that the Syrian government has attacked and killed its own citizens with chemical weapons are deeply disturbing. As President Obama and our military and intelligence leaders consider a response, it's critical that Congress is closely consulted and the American people are properly informed.
"A U.S. military response to Syria's brutality bears great risks and repercussions, and therefore should meet a high standard of transparency to earn the support of our nation."
Congressman Ron Barber (D) District 2:
"I am pleased that the president is seeking consultation and approval from Congress on this important decision for our nation.
"This use of chemical weapons is a terrible assault against innocent men, women and more than 400 children. The United States and the nations of the world must condemn such a heinous crime against humanity.
"I look forward to the debate in Congress regarding the president's decision and to receiving additional information regarding the U.S. government's findings and proposed military action against Syria. Before I vote on this issue, I want to hear the administration's complete rationale for action and the potential impact on other nations and our allies in the region. Congress must consider both the proposed response and the potential consequences of military action."
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D) District 3:
Co-wrote an editorial on Friday for CNN. Read HERE.
Congressman Paul Gosar (R) District 4:
"At last, President Obama decided to follow the Constitution and allow Congress to decide whether our nation goes to war. Make no mistake, dropping even a handful of cruise weapons is an act of war. Now it is up to Congress and the American people to decide whether to go to war with Syria. It would be a shame for the President to be applauded, after nearly five years, for simply following the Constitution and finally understanding how our system of government works."
Congressman Matt Salmon (R) District 5:
"I commend the President for following the Constitution and seeking Congressional approval before taking military action in Syria. Now it is up to the Administration to convince Congress and the American people that intervening in this two-year long Syrian civil war is in our nation's best interests.
"If it is proven that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people there must be consequences; the question for the Administration, Congress and the American people, is what should those consequences be. I will look forward to the President answering many questions regarding urgency of action, strategy and objectives as we take up this debate."
Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D) District 9:
"I'm deeply troubled by reports concerning the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. These continuing acts of violence demand attention from the world community.
"Like many Americans, I await specific information detailing what potential action the administration is considering. I intend to evaluate whether any proposed action will protect and advance American goals and interests once I have been briefed by national security officials.
"The international community supports the Syrian people's aspirations for freedom, democracy and dignity. However, I have serious concerns that greater involvement - such as a military strike - may force the United States into a larger military role, putting our service members in harm's way. Given the limited information that has been provided thus far, I believe there is no guarantee that such risk will produce a positive outcome for the safety and security of our country.
"The President and the administration should provide a classified briefing to all members of Congress, not just key officials, and I expect such an update to allow time for questions and detailed answers. My colleagues and I require the facts in order to develop informed opinions about the best course of action ahead, and the American people expect their elected representatives to have all the available information when considering issues of this magnitude."
Additional statements will be added when available.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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