Mississippi congressional leaders on Syria - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MS congressmen weigh in on military action in Syria

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Harper says the president made the right call when he paused on taking military action until Congress could vote on it. Harper says the president made the right call when he paused on taking military action until Congress could vote on it.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Reports of chemical weapons have increased concerns about the ongoing Syrian civil war, but President Barack Obama announced Saturday that he will wait for congressional approval before launching military action.

All of Mississippi's congressmen except Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson signed off on a letter to the president last week asking him to seek congressional approval.

"The last few days, the great topic of discussion has been what to do about Syria," said Republican Rep. Gregg Harper.

Harper says the president made the right call when he paused on taking military action until Congress could vote on it. Still, he expects it to be a tough sell for the commander-in-chief.

"My greatest concern is this, if we take military action, who are we helping? Who are the good guys? Are there any good actors there that we can support? The rebels that this would benefit are Al Qaeda connected," Harper said.

Harper says those same concerns have Mississippians paying close attention to the Middle East.

"Public sentiment is not there for military action in Syria. I've found no one that says we need to attack Syria," explained Harper.

Other Mississippi congressional leaders are trying to keep constituents in the loop. For example, Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo sent out a letter Friday.

"I am hesitant to engage our men and women in uniform in another lengthy and costly war halfway around the world, especially if there is no direct threat to the United States," Palazzo wrote in the letter.

Thompson was among those in the closed door briefing with the President Sunday.

"American involvement in the Syrian Civil War is a vital national security decision and should not be taken lightly. I remain committed to the security and the protection of the American people," Thompson said in a statement prior to the meeting.

The house is expected to take up a vote on military action against Syria when they return next week. Harper says he could see them going back sooner, particularly if there is another chemical weapons attack.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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