Iowa Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, thinks a possible Russian-Syrian deal may mean U.S. military strikes on Syria may not be necessary and a long shot congressional vote to authorize those votes may not be needed either.
Meanwhile, Third District Congressman Tom Latham isn’t so sure.
Loebsack questioned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday. His office provided this video.
Loebsack said that encounter, along with classified briefings, have failed to convince him of the need to strike Syria. “I remain unconvinced that is the right policy,” Loebsack said.
But upon hearing details that Russia has agreed to store Syria’s chemical weapons, Rep. Loebsack is optimistic that agreement could offer an international solution to the escalating crisis that would not mean U.S. military involvement.
Loebsack said, “If it is the case that those chemical weapons can be secured and hopefully destroyed without the U.S. military strikes, then clearly that’s the preferrable option.”
Latham thinks the Russian-Syrian possible agreement shows weakness in President Obama’s leadership on the issue. Latham said, “Frustrating to me that it now appears the world leader is President Putin of Russia rather than the United States leading.”
Latham doesn’t know if Putin can be trusted and whether his offer is truly a long-term solution to the problem. Regardless, he wants congress to move forward with plans to vote on authorizing U.S. military strikes because he thinks some in congress want to have their position noted “on the record.”
Latham said he is a definite “no” on the issue.