Jul 29, 2014

Syria: Where Virginia's Congressional Delegation Stands

Virginia's Congressional delegation appears split on authorizing military strike on Syria.

Syria: Where Virginia's Congressional Delegation Stands

By Todd Richissin

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner late Tuesday praised  President Barack Obama's address to the nation, saying he had “outlined a responsible path to a credible diplomatic solution” in Syria.

Warner, a Democrat, did not say explicitly that he favored a strike on Syria in response to reports the government there had gassed its own people with chemical weapons.

Warner said he will work on “a bipartisan resolution that includes tight deadlines and which allows unannounced, even intrusive, inspections by international observers.”

His response follows U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine's  recent vote in committee to authorize a military strike.

In his national address Tuesday night, the president “made a strong case to the American people for why Bashar Al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons to kill Syrian civilians must have consequences,” Kaine said in a statement Tuesday night.

Russia’s foreign minister opened a possible route away from military action, proposing that Syria turn over all of its chemical weapons for destruction. Syria has said it will agree, but critics, including Obama, remain skeptical.

The president said Tuesday night that he had asked Congressional leaders to delay a vote on authorizing a military strike while he pursues a diplomatic solution.

Among Virginia's congressional delegation, only Kaine, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and U.S. Reps. Jim Moran and Gerald Connolly clearly favor authorizing military action, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Other members of the delegation oppose a strike, are skeptical or undecided, the paper reported.

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