Following President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a potential military intervention in Syria, Maine’s congressional delegation weighed in on the subject over the weekend. Although King, Collins, Michaud and Pingree are happy that Obama has decided to seek Congress’ approval, they’re not sure how they will vote.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins released a statement Saturday calling the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens an “abhorrent” violation of international conventions. Collins said in her statement that she had participated in a conference call with Secretary of State (and sometimes Assad dinner partner) John Kerry, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, National Security Adviser (and sometimes Sunday talk show guest) Susan Rice, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Said Collins, “Congress must be involved in this weighty decision, and I strongly agree with the President’s decision to seek congressional approval for this military action. In fact, I hope that the President will encourage the leaders of the Senate and the House to reconvene next week to begin further consideration of the Administration’s plan immediately. In the meantime, I will continue to receive both classified and unclassified briefings to evaluate the wisdom and feasibility of the President’s plan and look forward to participating in the Senate debate.”
Unenrolled Sen. Angus King was also hesitant to take a public stance on Syrian intervention.
“I will review the evidence and arguments with great care before deciding how I will vote on this difficult and important issue,” Sen. Angus King said Saturday, as reported by the Sun Journal. “I believe the president is right to seek the support and approval of the United States Congress before moving forward with military action against the Assad regime.”
Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree told the Sun Journal, “I’m inclined to vote no but will listen to the president and am glad he is seeking the approval of Congress.”
Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat who is now vying for residency in the Blaine House, made his remarks on Syria to a video reporter with MaineToday Media. See below: