Comment: Louise M. Slaughter (D)

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Louise M. Slaughter (D)

Sounds like she's either still undecided or will vote along party lines.

Thank you for contacting me to oppose military intervention in Syria. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

I am deeply concerned about the events that have unfolded over the last two years in Syria, including the allegations of the brutal and horrific use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against its own people. As you know, in March 2011, the Arab Spring arrived in Syria, putting President Bashar al-Assad on the defensive for the first time in his 11-year presidency. In order to suppress the demonstrations, the government responded brutally. The confrontations and violence have escalated to a civil war and most reports indicate that well over 100,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the conflict.

I am pleased that President Obama is looking to Congress, as the people’s representatives, for approval before moving forward with military action. I have been engaged with the Obama Administration and my colleagues on the draft resolution authorizing military force, have participated in White House conference calls on the situation in Syria, and will receive classified bipartisan briefings on Syria in the days ahead. Furthermore, in addition to hearing from hundreds of constituents like you who have contacted me by phone and through my website, my office is proactively reaching out to over 15,000 constituents to register local opinions on this critical issue.

As you may know, on September 4, 2013, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a joint resolution authorizing the limited use of military force in Syria by a vote of 10 to 7, with members of both parties supporting and opposing the measure. The Senate resolution would permit the President to use military force only to “respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction” by the Syrian government, deter the use of such weapons to protect national security interests, “degrade Syria’s capacity to use such weapons in the future,” and prevent the transfer of such weapons to other groups within Syria. The resolution expressly prohibits the use of U.S. troops on the ground and restricts! the use of force to targets within Syria. It would terminate after 60 days, with the possibility of a single 30-day extension. This joint resolution must be approved by the full Senate and then the House of Representatives before taking effect. At this time it has not been decided when and in what form the resolution will be voted on in the House of Representatives.

The decision to use military force against another country is the most serious vote a member of Congress has to take. Members of Congress and the American public deserve a thorough public debate that takes into account our national interest, our responsibility to the international community, our realistic capacity to end the human suffering in Syria, and the views of the American people.

I have heard from many constituents who are understandably weary of war and rightly skeptical of engaging in another conflict. Over a decade ago, the country conducted a similar debate on authorizing force against Iraq, a resolution which I opposed after careful and thorough consideration. Ten years, 4,000 American lives, and trillions of taxpayer dollars later, I stand by that vote. You can count on me to keep your views in mind as I apply the same careful scrutiny to this coming debate to ensure that we make the best decision with regards to an intervention in Syria.

I always appreciate hearing from my constituents about the issues that matter to them. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future. If you are interested in receiving my e-newsletter - the “Louise Line” - to update you about my work on your behalf in Washington, or for other information, please visit my website at


Louise M. Slaughter