Hoyer Statement on Syria

For Immediate Release:

September 3, 2013

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement reiterating his support for action in Syria after a meeting with President Obama at the White House this morning: 

“I support the President’s call for authorizing limited but decisive military action in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in Syria.  While recognizing that the details of the authorization language have yet to be finalized, the use of chemical weapons, including against innocent children, is intolerable and cannot go unanswered. 

“The Administration has presented compelling evidence that these horrific weapons caused over one thousand deaths and that they were launched from areas controlled by government forces into neighborhoods that were known opposition strongholds.  Investigations by our allies confirm these facts, and it is in our strong national security interest to act decisively.

“As the world’s leading democracy, as a defender of justice and human rights, and as a cosignatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is essential that the United States respond in a way that will effectively deter the further use of these deadly weapons by the Assad regime and substantially degrade the capability to employ such weapons and agents.  Further, our response sends a clear message to all other nations and non-state actors who are considering the development or deployment of weapons of mass destruction that the United States will not stand idly by if they do so. 

“Unless the community of nations, led by the United States, makes an unambiguous stand in support of international laws and norms that preclude the use of these heinous weapons, this will not be the last time we see them used.  The peace and security of the United States, the Middle East, and, indeed, of our world depends on making sure that the consequences of using weapons of mass destruction are absolutely clear and inevitable.

“I appreciate the President’s determination that Congress, as the people’s representatives, must be part of the decision on how to move forward.  Our action will ultimately be stronger for it.  Congress should now give the President the authority he needs to make good on our promise to those responsible for these heinous chemical attacks.”  

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