BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - President Barack Obama's push for a military strike in Syria is gaining momentum in Washington and in Louisiana, but there is still no definitive answer 'for' or 'against' from Louisiana's Congressional Delegation. A straw poll of the delegation is mixed.
"I support President Obama's decision to engage with Congress as we join the global community to ensure that this grave human offense is addressed," says Rep. Cedric Richmond D-LA. "When the Assad regime decided to rain chemical warfare on more than 1,400 people, including 400 children, it became a matter of national security."
Senator David Vitter's press handlers say he will have to attend an Armed Services Committee meeting on Wednesday before he commits to the issue.
"I will carefully examine the facts in the coming days as Congress debates what the appropriate action is," says Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA. "Using military force in Syria is a serious matter, and the President is correct to seek Congressional approval."
But members of the GOP aren't so convinced.
"There are still so many questions left unanswered so I will continue to engage with my colleagues in D.C. as well as discuss this issue with the people of Louisiana," says Rep. Bill Cassidy R-LA.
"Mr. Obama must clearly explain what he believes is the direct threat to our national security that demands our immediate response, and he must show what will be achieved by using our military against Syria," says Rep John Flemming R-LA.
Northeast Louisiana Congressman Rodney Alexander's office issued this statement. "At this time, Congressman Alexander does not feel it is in our best interests to take military action. However, he believes a thorough congressional debate is critical before any decisions are made regarding how to proceed."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also added his thoughts today. "I'd like to know what the objective is," says Jindal. "Congress needs to hear that. For example is it regime change? Or is it removal of the ability of the Assad regime to use chemical weapons? I think we need that. I think congress deserves that as they work up to this debate on September 9th. So I think there are a lot of unanswered questions."
Congress is scheduled to debate the issue on the September 9, 2013.