AZ Congressman says U.S. House should decide course in Syria - Tucson News Now

AZ Congressman says U.S. House should decide course in Syria

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

President Obama says he has not made a final decision on whether to launch a military attack against the Syrian regime.

The U.S. says Syria has used chemical weapons against its own people, killing more than 1400 people.

Friday, Mr. Obama said, "This kind of attack threatens our national security interests by violating well established international norms against the use of chemical weapons."

Mr. Obama met with his national security staff to discuss the situation in Syria.

So the question is, if the U.S. decides to launch a military strike on Syria, will the president act on his own or will he ask for congressional approval?

Arizona Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva says he, a progressive, has joined his Tea Party colleagues and others to urge President Obama not to take action on Syria without congressional approval.

Grijalva says, it's clear from newly-released information that what happened in Syria is brutal and ugly.

However, he says, the majority of Americans want Congress to decide if the U.S. enters another conflict.

"That's the right of Congress and this is a major military mission. For, I think, for the sake of the country and for the sake of representative government that we have--let members of the House of Representatives take their votes and if he (President Obama) prevails, the action goes forward, but at least the debate and the opinion of the American people is going to be felt in that discussion," Grijalva says.

"American people have a great deal of compassion. They feel bad. There's empathy and sympathy for what happened, but the American people also have a memory and we've got two references in Iraq and Afghanistan that make the American people think twice and want to check everything before a decision like that is made," Grijalva says.

Grijalva says if the House of Representatives does vote, there is no guarantee President Obama will prevail and get congressional approval for a U.S. attack in Syria.

The congressman says, at this point, he would vote against any U.S. action in Syria.

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