The congresswoman who represents South Bend and much of north central Indiana says she is “highly skeptical” of the president’s request to conduct a military strike in Syria.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski says that her constituents have expressed “resounding hesitation” about the plan. “I was in parades this weekend; we have been all over this district.”
On the surface, the goal may seem simple: To punish Syria for using chemical weapons on its own people. But carrying out a military operation in the middle of the Middle East can be nerve wracking.
“You know, the 900 pound gorilla in the room is the nuclear Iran and that provides and existential threat to Israel and to all of the neighbors who have any ally relationships to us,” said Rep. Walorski, (R) Indiana’s Second District.
The more time Rep. Walorski spends out of the office and out on the streets, the more doubts she has. “I’m highly skeptical, I’ve gone from skeptical to highly skeptical over the weekend.”
U.S. Senator Joseph Donnelly will return to Washington D.C. for classified briefings on Wednesday morning. “Everything seems to touch upon everything else. Syria’s next door neighbor is Israel, a great friend of ours, they are affected by this, you look at Syria’s neighbor on the other side, it’s Iraq.”
Donnelly says the senate will likely begin by re-writing the resolution on military action against Syria. “One of the things we’re going to be doing in the senate is the authorization that was requested we’re already beginning to work on re-writing it to tighten it up, make it more specific. In addition, questions are going to be asked as to how does this solve the long term problem in Syria, how does this affect actions in regards to Iran and Hezbollah as well and so there’s a lot of questions to be answered.”
Members of the house are scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. on Monday of next week, which is another cause for concern for Rep. Walorski. “I guess one of the things that surprises me most about this is that the president has pulled back for at least a two week delay now, and is allowing Assad to not only move chemical weapons but move everything out of plain view and probably into bunkers and I can’t imagine how this limited narrow strike fits into any kind of policy really that the United State’s interest, and does anything to stop Assad from what he’s doing to his own people.”