local | Crisis In Syria

Idaho's Republicans In Congress Aren't Sold On Syria Action

Northwest News Network | Sept. 4, 2013 2:39 p.m.

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US Senate. Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho questions Secretary of State John Kerry on the Obama administration's proposed military action in Syria.

Members of Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation aren’t yet committing to a position on military action in Syria. But the direction most are leaning is against a resolution authorizing President Obama to use air strikes.

A spokesman for Sen. Mike Crapo says the Idaho Republican is skeptical of authorizing military force at this point, especially without a broad international coalition.

Crapo’s colleague, Sen. Jim Risch sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which heard the Obama administration’s arguments for action in Syria.

Risch asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether a limited strike is enough. “Are we really going to be giving them credibility? If we go in with a limited strike and the day after or the week after or the month after, Assad crawls out of his rat hole and says, ‘Look, I stood up to the strongest power on the face of this Earth and I won.’”

The issue doesn’t split neatly down party lines. In the House, Speaker John Boehner has endorsed the president’s proposal. But Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho says he’s strongly leaning against it.

Raul Labrador’s press office did not return requests for comment. So far, Labrador has only said he wants the U.S. House to reconvene early to debate Syria.

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