Congress Responds to Reports of Syria Chemical Attack

Amid reports of a chemical gas attack by the Syrian government, Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn. said that though it is good to be cautious, “it’s very evident that the regime has acted in this way.”  The top ranking Republican on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee believes that “the amount of social media that’s coming out of Syria indicates this is not something where opposition forces have contrived something.”  New York Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed with the Senator and said that the U.S. “cannot afford to sit back and wait.”  According to Engel, “I think we can act. I think we should act. I think we should act for humanitarian purposes. And I think we should act because it’s in our national interests to act.”  Senator Corker says he is looking for President Obama to seek Congressional authorization to “respond in a surgical way.”  Congressman Engel, however, says he believes Congress should be involved but “perhaps not initially.”  He sees cruise missile strikes as a potential U.S. response.  He added the U.S. cannot wait for the United Nations.