Local Florida congressmen weigh in on taking military action in Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday that "a country faces few decisions as grave as taking military action" -- but that the evidence of chemical weapons use against men, women and children in Syria demands action.

Local Florida Congressmen weighed in on Saturday with their statements on President Obama seeking approval from Congress for military action in Syria.

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings

"The President made the correct constitutional, political, and moral decision today.  He gives Congress the opportunity to debate this matter.  Furthermore, he has more time to convince additional allies abroad during his trip to the G-20 economic summit, as well as wait for the United Nations (U.N.) inspectors to make their report, and continue to seek a U.N. mandate."

Senator Bill Nelson

"The president wants to put to rest any doubt the American people may have.  I support the president's decision.   But as far as I'm concerned, we should strike in Syria today.  The use of chemical weapons was inhumane, and those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences." 

Representative Patrick E. Murphy

"I join the President in condemning the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians and that such actions must be stopped.  Assad must be held accountable for his flagrant violations of international laws and standards and others must know that such crimes against humanity will not be tolerated by the United States or the international community.

"I also agree with the President's decision to come to Congress before taking action. It is in the interest of U.S. national security as well as a moral imperative that the use of chemical weapons be stopped but ultimately, any decision to take military action should be made collectively as a nation. I stand ready to return to D.C. to have this debate.  I am awaiting the actual language of the resolution to see how limited the authorization would be before I can make any decision on this issue but I am pleased to see that putting boots on the ground is not an option that is currently being discussed."

Senator Marco Rubio

"I agree with the decision to seek Congressional approval before taking military action in Syria. And I believe Congress should return to Washington immediately and begin to debate this issue.

"The United States should only engage militarily when it is pursuing a clear and attainable national security goal. Military action taken simply to send a message or save face does not meet that standard."


Congressman Ted Deutch

"I support President Obama's decision to seek Congressional authorization for limited, targeted military action in Syria. The heinous use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against civilians is a clear violation of international norms and warrants a strong response."

Stay tuned to WPTV NewsChannel 5 for updates.

CNN contributed to this report.

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