Indiana lawmakers respond to U.S. military strike in Syria

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WANE) – Indiana lawmakers issued responses Friday to the U.S. bombing of a Syrian air base with 59 missiles Thursday night.

President Donald Trump cast the U.S. assault in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack earlier this week on civilians to deter future use of poison gas.

The U.S. strikes hit the government-controlled Shayrat air base in central Syria, where U.S. officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.

Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-3rd.) all agreed that the missile strike was appropriate.The following responses from Indiana lawmakers are written verbatim. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.)

President Trump has sent a clear message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and has consequences. At this critical moment, it is vital that the United States has a comprehensive strategy that addresses the situation in Syria. Part of this strategy should include Congress passing a new AUMF. The Constitution grants Congress the power of declaring war, and we need to take that obligation seriously. Debating and passing the AUMF legislation Senator Young and I have introduced is the best way for Congress to work with the Administration and support our Armed Forces.

Senator Joe Donnelly  (D-Ind.)

Bashar al-Assad’s latest chemical attack on Syrian civilians was despicable – the latest horror in the six-year tragedy of the Syrian Civil War. Last night’s missile strike was an appropriate response and sends a clear message that the use of chemical weapons on innocent people will not be tolerated. Before any further escalation, President Trump and leaders at the Pentagon need to come to Congress with a clear strategy for the path forward.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-3rd.)

The international community has looked the other way for too long and has failed to act as Assad and Putin have deliberately and barbarically murdered innocent men, women, and children in Syria, and I applaud the Trump administration’s decision to take action.  Our men and women in uniform conducted yesterday’s strikes with professionalism and precision, and I join all Americans in expressing our gratitude to our service members.

After attending a briefing today with General Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I am confident that the President will continue to receive sound advice from his impressive national security team.  Following these strikes, the administration should submit to Congress without delay a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy—working with our international partners.  Our national security interests require that this strategy seeks to eliminate ISIS’s remaining safe haven in Syria, end the Syrian regime’s war on its own people, address the humanitarian crisis, and begin a political process that includes the departure of Assad and the establishment of an inclusive Syrian government.  Simultaneously, Congress finally should fulfill its Constitutional responsibility to consider and pass an appropriately crafted authorization for use of military force.

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