On left and right, Tampa Bay lawmakers skeptical of Syria strike
TAMPA — Florida politicians on each end of the political spectrum spoke out against approving a military strike against Syria following a classified congressional briefing Sunday.
Their reservations illustrate the difficult task President Barack Obama faces as he seeks congressional approval for what he describes as a limited strike to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, said Sunday that despite compelling circumstantial evidence, he did not think a vote would pass if held now.
Several representatives said Congress must first decide whether there is a compelling national interest at stake before weighing how to proceed.
"Without a direct threat to the national security of the United States, I oppose an overt military strike against Syria," U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, wrote in a letter to Obama. "As I have visited with my neighbors across my district this month, I have heard from many of them who are extremely wary of military action that could lead to greater entanglement in a region where fighting factions are not aligned with the United States and our allies or our national interests. I urge you to be cautious and conservative and fully analyze the strategic aftermath."
Read the full story by Caitlin Johnston and Alex Leary.