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Minnesota Congressional Leaders Call for Consultation on Syria

April 07, 2017 05:03 PM

Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation from both parties mostly support President Donald Trump's decision to launch a missile strike against Syria in response to this week's chemical attack. But they're insisting that the president needs to consult with Congress before any escalation of the conflict.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar says it was right to show Syrian President Bashar Assad that he will be held accountable.

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Republican Rep. Jason Lewis says the U.S. should continue its efforts toward resolving the conflict.

Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum called on GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan recall the House from its recess to set clear limits on the use of U.S. troops.

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison sharply criticized the president for failing to seek authorization in the absence of an imminent threat to the U.S.

RAW: US Launches Missile Strikes in Syria

Yet that's far easier said than done at a time when Congress is deeply polarized and dysfunctional. Republicans control the House and Senate yet have been unable to agree on health care legislation, let alone a new war powers resolution. Barack Obama asked Congress two years ago to formally authorize war against the Islamic State. There were a few hearings and lawmakers argued, but they never acted on the proposal.

GOP leaders praised Trump's order to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles Thursday evening, targeting the base from which Assad launched the attack.

RELATED: Chemical Attack Kills Dozens in Syria, US Blames Assad

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he supported "both the action and objective." House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the strike "appropriate and just." Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina declared that Trump "confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action."

But Massie, who often breaks with his party, essentially called Trump a hypocrite for not getting permission from Congress.

RELATED: Syria Chemical Attack Death Toll Now at 72; New Strikes Hit

He retweeted late Thursday a 2013 tweet from Trump aimed at Obama, who at the time was considering taking military action in Syria.

"The president must get congressional approval before attacking Syria - big mistake if he does not!" Trump wrote then.

In his retweet , Massie used the hashtag "#bigmistake."

In a statement Friday, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called Trump's order an "ill-thought out military action" that "exposes the immoral hypocrisy of this administration's policy in the Middle East."

Credits

AP

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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