President Barack Obama (eventually) appeared in the White House Rose Garden today to update the nation on the situation in Syria — specifically, whether we will soon be sending our military to exact some degree of punishment on Bashar al-Assad's regime for what our government says was a devastating chemical weapons attack that killed 1,429 Syrian civilians.
In short, as seen above, the president said that he has decided the U.S. should take military action against the Syrian regime, but that he will seek authorization from Congress first. Obama maintains that he doesn't need an OK from Congress, but an increasing number of legislators had been calling for him to ask for their support. His decision to do so has been largely met with approval from those on the Hill.
After the jump are statements from Tennessee's senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, and Nashville's Rep. Jim Cooper responding to the president's decision:
Sen. Bob Corker
“I am very pleased that the president has listened to the suggestion we and many others have made to bring this authorization to Congress. At this point in our country’s history, this is absolutely the right decision, and I look forward to seeing what the Administration brings forward and to a vigorous debate on this important authorization. Further, now that the president has decided to use force and seek authorization, it is imperative that he immediately begins using every ounce of his energy to make his case to the American people,” said Corker.
Sen. Lamar Alexander
“Under our Constitution the president should seek authorization from Congress before his proposed military action. I’m concerned about the consequences of a military strike in Syria, and what happens with step two, three and four after that. There may be a variety of ways, some military and some not, to show our disgust with the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against its own people. Since the president’s proposed action appears not to be for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government, during the congressional debate I will assess whether a military strike would do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle Eastern conflict.”
Rep. Jim Cooper
"President Obama has set a strong precedent to force future presidents to seek congressional approval before military action. On questions of war, lawmakers shouldn't speak out until they know all the facts. I will go to Washington tomorrow for the classified briefing, but I won't start making a decision until I see the president's specific proposal."