House lawmakers begin consideration of Syria strike strategy

Democrat Gregory Meeks still undecided


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: President Obama winning a key vote to attack Syria, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee giving it the OK. Next stop, the full Senate, where the betting is, well, that body will do the same.

The House, an entirely different matter, where a lot of conservatives and liberals are oddly on the stay-out-of-it same page.

New York Democratic Congressman Greg Meeks went in today's hearing undecided on the whole resolution.

Congressman, are you still?

REP. GREGORY MEEKS , D-N.Y.: I am still undecided.

CAVUTO: What's giving you pause, Congressman?

MEEKS: Well, I'm wondering where the rest of the world is.

I don't think that the United States should act unilaterally. And I hear the administration saying that we have some with us. I want to see who's with us, and whether it is not just in condemning the act, but with us in committing military forces to go and to show that we're not going to allow as an international community the utilization of chemical weapons.

CAVUTO: Well, sir, unless something changes, we will be pulling a Lone Ranger here. I don't see any Tontos following up. So, if that doesn't change, where do you stand?

MEEKS: Well, as I said, I can't see us doing this unilaterally. We need to do it multilaterally.

At the hearing, the -- Secretary Kerry indicated that there were countries that were coming on board and that he would provide that information to us. He also indicated that there...


CAVUTO: He said countries were coming on board? Did he tell you which countries?

MEEKS: Well, some of which he said we need to talk about in a classified setting...

CAVUTO: I see.

MEEKS: ... of which I will go into a classified setting and see what -- you know, who they are and what their level of commitment is.

So I am undecided from where I -- I have to gather the information, because this is a serious -- I believe, a serious violation of international policy, and thereby requires an international response.

CAVUTO: You know, Congressman, what is your gut then, not only on your committee, but maybe in the House on this?

MEEKS: Well, my gut is that it is up in the air. My gut is that it is a process that's still in work, that the administration still has some work to do. There are members that have questions. There are going to be several additional both classified and declassified meetings. And I think that when members come back, especially on the House side, because a number of folks are still out on recess, everybody is going to be engaged, and we will see where we are.

I think that, also, the president, while he's over at the G20, he is talking to some other world leaders there. We heard something from Mr. Putin, whether it was real or not, but it was something to the effect that, if shown the evidence, he could be persuaded to go back to the U.N. or change where they are. We have to see.

But I think that the key is, there's still work to be done. And until that's done, members -- I know this member, is undecided.

CAVUTO: Real quickly, do chemical weapons make a difference when tens of thousands of others have been killed by more conventional means?

MEEKS: Well, chemical weapons make a difference in the sense that it is a violation of international protocol.


MEEKS: That's why I think it takes an international response.

But you're absolutely right. When you look at the thousands that have already been killed and the hundreds of thousands of those individuals who are now refugees from their own land, there needs to be a situation...

CAVUTO: All right.

MEEKS: ... this civil war in Syria, that is resolved. And that is not going to be resolved militarily.


MEEKS: The only way that is going to be resolved is diplomatically.

CAVUTO: Sir, thank you very much.

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