Nevada lawmakers discuss their positions on Syria - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Nevada lawmakers discuss their positions on Syria

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Nevada's lawmakers in Washington are letting their constituents know of their positions on Syria, some sending statements prior to President Barack Obama's Tuesday evening address, others releasing statements following it.

While some of our lawmakers seem resolute with regards to their opinions on whether military action is justified, others, such as Rep. Steven Horsford, are signaling they still require more information.

Rep. Dina Titus on Tuesday released the following statement to FOX5:

"The decision to use military action warrants serious deliberation and should be considered only when all reasonable diplomatic options are exhausted. Tonight, I look forward to hearing an update on the possibility of a diplomatic agreement that will remove the ability of the Assad regime to use chemical weapons and bring stability to the region. I expect the president will also provide the American people with additional details regarding the potential use of military force."

Sen. Harry Reid delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor:

"The United States Senate is engaged in an important debate - one which should not be taken lightly. This discussion and the bipartisan resolution under consideration are simply too important to be rushed through the Senate or given short shrift.

"I believe it is right and proper that President Obama be given the opportunity to meet with Senators from both parties during the weekly caucus meetings. I also believe it is vital that the President speak directly to the American people about the potential for limited military action in Syria, which he will do tonight at 9 o'clock. And it is appropriate to allow international discussions aimed at avoiding this military action to continue.

"It is important to understand that the only reason Russia is seeking an alternative to military action is that President Obama has made it clear that the United States will not fear to act. Our credible threat of force has made these diplomatic discussions with Syria possible. The United States should not withdraw that threat.

"If there is a realistic chance to secure Syria's chemical weapons and prevent further atrocities by the Assad regime, we should not turn our backs on that chance. But for such a solution to be plausible the Assad regime must quickly prove that their offer is real and not merely a ploy to delay military action indefinitely. Any agreement must also assure Syria's chemical weapons can be viably secured, even in the midst of ongoing fighting. And any agreement must ensure that Syria is unable to transfer its dangerous chemical weapons to the hands of terrorist groups. Such an attempt would be met with a rapid and robust response by the United States.

"I am pleased that the administration is considering this offer and determining whether the proposal can satisfy the criteria I have just outlined. The Senate should give these international discussions time to play out, but not unlimited time.

"That is why, although there is support to move forward and debate the bipartisan resolution reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I did not rush to file cloture on the motion to proceed to this measure last night. As I said, we don't need to prove how quickly we can do this, but how well we can do this.

"However, the Syrian regime should fully understand that the United States is watching closely. And the Assad regime should be warned: the United States will not tolerate this breach of human decency and long-held international consensus against the use of chemical weapons."

Sen. Dean Heller released the following statement Tuesday, flatly stating his opposition to military action in Syria at this time:

"Any strategic attack has the potential to become an act of war, and should be treated as such. Before I vote to put members of Nevada's families in harm's way, a full justification for war must be provided. After extensive discussions with the White House and those concerned about the constitutionality of military intervention, I do not believe a strategic attack on Syria is in the best interest of the United States at this time."

Rep. Steven Horsford provided the following statement prior to the president's speech on Tuesday:

"Like most Americans, I'm looking forward to the President's address tonight. I have yet to determine my final position, but any engagement with Syria, diplomatic or otherwise, must be in the best interests of the United States and those we intend to help. Any action by the United States should engage a multilateral coalition of partners, have clear objectives and conditions, and not solely burden our country with costs we cannot afford."

Rep. Joe Heck largely echoed Heller's sentiments in expressing his opposition to military action:

"Tonight, the American people again heard that chemical weapons were used in Syria against the civilian population by the Assad regime, and, as I have previously stated, the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is an especially heinous act that shows just how desperate the regime has become. However, after many hours of classified briefings and a House Armed Services Committee hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, I am not convinced that Assad's actions pose a direct and imminent threat to the national security of the United States, that clear and measurable objectives are in place for a military strike, or that the risks associated with a strike can be mitigated.

"At this time, given the lack of such a threat, I remain opposed to the U.S. taking military action in Syria. The American people, including the vast majority of my constituents, are rightly wary of getting involved in another Middle Eastern conflict. In the end, if we are going to engage our military, there must be a clear threat to our national security interests at home and a clear strategy of what we are going to achieve. Those two conditions simply have not been met.

"There have been recent developments in this situation, including the potential that the Syrians may turn over their chemical weapons stockpiles, and I will continue to monitor those developments. But on the question of the United States striking Syria, I am a no."

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