At least five members of Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation are calling for Congress to weigh in on whether a military strike should be launched against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.
Those who want President Obama to consult Congress on Syria come from the left and right – including Republican Michele Bachmann and Democrats Keith Ellison, Colin Peterson, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan. The 8th District congressman has been trying for months to limit the Obama administration’s authority to wade into the Syrian conflict.
“We are war weary. These wars of choice and this so-called nation-building abroad is bankrupting this country. It’s causing nothing but trouble for us throughout the world and it’s time that this Congress step up,” Nolan said.
But Nolan said congressional leaders don’t want to hold a vote on whether to authorize the use of force in Syria because they’re afraid a majority of House members would vote no.
“I think that the administration has made a decision that they want to do this and the pro-military leaders in the Congress have made a decision that they want to do this and they do not want to let this matter come before the Congress because they’re afraid they’ll be denied the right and the opportunity to do that,” Nolan said.
As one of the more than 100 members of Congress who signed a letter to the Obama administration, Tim Walz said he’s heard from his southern Minnesota constituents who are concerned about the war.
“While the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is unconscionable and there is a moral responsibility to defend the defenseless, we cannot rush into this decision,” Walz said in a statement issued late today.