Skip to main content

Minnesota's Congressional delegation weighs in on Obama's Syria plan

  • Author:
  • Updated:

President Barack Obama issued a surprise announcement Saturday, saying that he will he will first seek Congressional approval before taking military action against Syria. The Associated Press reported that Obama decided that Congressional authorization would make the U.S. action stronger.

Minnesota's Congressional delegation has reacted in a series of interviews and statements.

KARE 11 collected comments from the state's two DFL senators, who, not surprisingly, supported the President's strategy.

"The President is right to consult with Congress and obtain approval before taking military action in Syria. The decision to allow Congress to debate will give us the ability to carefully consider the evidence and consult with military officials before making a decision," said a statement from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who added, "I continue to strongly believe that we should not have American troops on the ground in Syria."

In his statement, Sen. Al Franken said the U.S. action should be limited, whatever form it takes. "Congress now has an important role to play, and I look forward to participating in a vigorous debate about the use of force and the best interests of our country," Franken said.

MPR rounded up statements from some of the Congressional representatives from the state.

"The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime must be considered a crime against humanity," said Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum. "President Assad and his generals need to be brought to justice for this atrocity -- preferably by the International Criminal Court."

"I'm pleased the President is seeking Congressional authorization and debate before taking military action in Syria. I stand ready to begin that debate immediately if necessary," said Democrat Rep. Tim Walz.

"We are not talking about sending a message to Syria. We are talking about sending bombs. That should never be done without Congressional approval," said Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan in a statement on his Congressional web page.

"I am adamantly opposed to President Obama starting another war in the Middle East and plan to vote against military intervention in Syria," Republican Rep. Bachmann said in her statement, which, while agreeing with the President's decision, blamed his policies for destabilizing the region. "President Obama has not demonstrated a vital American national security interest in the conflict in Syria or a clear strategy outlining what the use of force would accomplish. The American people do not support a military intervention and I cannot vote for one."

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison's statement addressed the political stakes for the President, saying, "If he does nothing, they’ll beat him up that. If he does something, they’ll beat up with that. So, why not get people on record from the beginning?”

Speaking to the Jamestown (N.D) Sun on Friday, Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson said he doesn’t support any action, at least for now. “There is no strategic threat to the United States,” he said.

Republican Rep. John Kline is keeping mum on the issue, with a statement that said: “As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Kline participated in a conference call Friday with the White House on Syria and he has no further comment at this time.”

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen has made no recent comment regarding Syria and has issued no statement. There is nothing regarding his position on his House page, his Facebook page, or his Twitter account.

Congress returns from the summer recess on Sept. 9.

Next Up


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 14

More than 11,000 cases for a second day in a row.

Juicy Lucy at Matt's Bar's choice for MN's best sandwich? A famous burger

Is the Juicy Lucy great? Yes. But we can't help but think some sandwiches may have been overlooked.

Boundary Waters BWCAW 1

Boundary Waters permits available next week, but there won't be as many

The number available this year have been cut after increased visitation that's led to congestion and damage to natural resources.

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 9.52.35 AM

Four arrested after attempted carjacking at Moorhead gas station

The incident occurred at around 3:40 p.m. at the Travel Mart in Moorhead.

Pexels smartphone use app

App linked to bullying resurfaces in MN, prompting warning from school

The app allows users to anonymously send messages to anyone else with the app.

St. Croix County Sheriff's Office

Hudson woman killed in crash, pickup driver possibly drunk-driving

The crash occurred at around 12:16 a.m. Thursday.

pexels sorry closed sign hand

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2022?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

Matt Asiata

Ex-Viking Asiata's son in critical condition after double-fatal shooting

Two teenage boys were killed and Ephraim Asiata was critically wounded.


Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge briefly closed after person climbs to the top

The famous bridge was closed to traffic for more than an hour Thursday evening.


State Patrol: 6-year-old girl hit, killed on Highway 169

The girl was on the highway when she was struck.

police tape, crime scene

Son arrested for killing of father in south Minneapolis home

It marks the second homicide in Minneapolis this year.