Sen. Shaheen, Rep. Kuster Weigh In On Syria

Sep 2, 2013

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is weighing in on possible military intervention in Syria.  This after President Barack Obama announced he would seek congressional approval for a military strike to punish the Assad regime for allegedly using chemical weapons. 

At an AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral  in Manchester, Senator Jeanne Shaheen stopped short of saying she supports military action against the Assad regime.   But she did note that she has been raising the issue of chemical weapons use in the conflict since February of 2012.

“I think any use of chemical weapons is a real threat to the United States, and we need to make sure that people are held accountable for that,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen sits on both the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees.  She will be returning to Washington Tuesday, where she will spend several days in committee hearings and classified briefings.  She said she would “weigh evidence” on who is responsible and consider the options for an American response.  

At the same event, Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster cautioned against "drawing a line in the sand."

"I will admit that I would prefer a different alternative than us having to go it alone," Kuster said.  "And I'm hoping that we'll hear more from the Arab League, from the United Nations, from international sources, get NATO involved.  But that we shouldn't have to do this solely on our own."

Other members of New Hampshire's delegation have also declined to explicitly endorse or reject a unilateral strike.  Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said she's glad Obama decided to seek congressional approval, noting that bipartisan consensus on a strike makes the nation stronger.  And Democratic Representative Carol Shea-Porter said Congress should return to Washington immediately, rather than wait for the recess to end on Monday, September 9th.