Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota: “Launching a strike in the Middle East with no clear military objective could very well make a bad situation worse.  The last thing we want to do is incite further chaos in a part of the world that is already on the brink.  I heard nothing in the President’s remarks tonight to change my position against authorizing military force. I do, however, agree with the President that Russia’s proposal to address Syria through diplomatic negotiations should be thoroughly explored.  Whether or not this becomes a reality, the door has now been opened for the international community to express support for a diplomatic solution.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D): “It is the threat of military force that has brought Assad to the point of considering international control of his chemical weapons.  What Congress should do now is authorize the president’s request of a limited strike.  Assad should be warned that if he does not turn the chemical weapons over to international custody in the next three weeks, then the president is authorized to strike.”

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: “No dictator should be able to gas his own people without facing consequences from the international community, and I applaud President Obama’s commitment to this basic principle of human rights. Unfortunately, for the past two years Russia has blocked every international effort to protect innocent Syrians from Bashar Al Assad’s campaign of mass murder. It is only now, faced with the threat of U.S. military action, that Russia has suddenly expressed any interest addressing the crisis in Syria through peaceful means.  I am truly hopeful that a proposal allowing for the seizure of Assad’s chemical weapons is more than another attempt by a brutal dictator to skirt accountability. What remains clear is that the threat of U.S. military force must always remain credible. We must not give Assad or anyone else a reason to doubt that America – and the world – unequivocally reject chemical warfare.”

Click here for the story in the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida reaction to Obama’s national address on Syria
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