WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued the following statement today in response to the president’s remarks on proposed American intervention in Syria.
“Out of respect due the Commander in Chief, I listened intently to President Obama’s address last night. I considered his arguments carefully, and took into account the evidence presented to me by top administration officials in a classified briefing. I have also heard from a number of constituents throughout the Fifth District of Texas, and it is clear that many continue to harbor grave reservations about the necessity and wisdom of military strikes in Syria, and I agree with them.
“As the American people know, painfully, after a decade of war, it is easier to get into one of these conflicts than it is to get out of them. Despite the president’s efforts last night, the administration remains unable to articulate a clear strategy and objective for military involvement in Syria, or even to explain how the situation there rises to the level of an imminent threat to the national security of the United States. In addition, the difficulty of distinguishing friend from foe in this region poses the serious issue that proposed military strikes could help factions that do not have our best interests at heart. For these reasons, I cannot support the resolution authorizing the use of military force and committing American resources -- and potentially the lives of our men and women in uniform -- in this conflict.
“While the president’s plan for United States military intervention in Syria is not the answer, I remain hopeful for a peaceful resolution to the humanitarian tragedy there. The United States must continue to stand with our allies in unconditionally condemning the use of chemical weapons and seeking other means to prevent the proliferation of these dangerous weapons to terrorist groups, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, now active in Syria.
“As the administration pursues the diplomatic plan offered by Russia, they should heed the old Russian proverb made famous by President Reagan in his dealings with the former Soviet Union: ‘trust but verify.’”