President Donald Trump's decision to order a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in response to the Assad regime's apparent use of chemical weapons on civilians has the world talking.
Minnesota's representatives and senators in Congress have been among those passing comment on the strike late on Thursday, as 59 Tomahawk missiles were launched from two U.S. warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.
A running theme among lawmakers is that some form of action needs to be taken against the Syrian government, but they would prefer it if the president seeks congressional approval before any further escalation.
Sen. Al Franken, DFL
"President Bashar al-Assad’s horrific use of chemical weapons on his own people is a grave violation of international norms, and I believe the administration’s strike on a Syrian military installation was an appropriate response. But any further military escalation should not be done unilaterally and needs the approval of Congress. This incident underscores the brutality of the Assad regime and I hope it prompts President Trump to reconsider his position on accepting carefully vetted Syrian refugees who are trying to escape this kind of horror."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL
"Using chemical weapons is an atrocity. These missile strikes targeted the air base used to launch the chemical attack, and it is right to show Assad that he will be held accountable. Moving forward, the administration must consult with Congress."
Rep. Jason Lewis, R (MN-2nd District)
"Because the horrors in Syria – whether the recent chemical attack carried out by the Assad regime, or those committed by ISIS-aligned rebel forces – continue to shock the conscience, it's easy to understand why President Trump took the action he did.
Nevertheless, Syria is very complicated and the situation on the ground remains stubbornly intractable. We should continue our efforts towards resolving the conflict, but any escalation of military action must get approval from Congress."
Rep. Rick Nolan, DFL (MN-8th District)
"By ordering airstrikes against the Syrian regime in response to its horrific use of chemical weapons, President Trump has moved America deeper into the Syrian conflict. Make no mistake – a military attack against another country is an act of war.
"And regardless of how good or compelling the reasons may be, a declaration of war is a Constitutional responsibility assigned to the Congress – not the president’s alone. Military attacks against other nations have consequences. And the founders were very clear in not wanting to give presidents unilateral authority to make these grave decisions."
Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL (MN-4th District)
"President Trump's military air strike against the Assad regime in Syria is a significant intervention in response to the Assad regime's heinous use of chemical weapons. In 2013, Congress rejected similar military action when President Obama sought authorization to respond to chemical weapons.
"Any escalation by President Trump of military action absolutely demands full consent and authorization by Congress. With as many as 1,000 U.S. troops inside Syria right now, it is clear President Trump has taken us to war in another Middle Eastern country."
This story will be updated if and when statements are made by Reps. Keith Ellison, Tom Emmer, Erik Paulsen, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, who have so far not issued public comment.