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Support for Syria strikes among Maryland delegation

April 7th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Maryland’s mostly Democratic congressional delegation offered support Friday for President Donald Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria, but they also sought assurances the administration will consult with Congress on a long-term strategy.

“The president showed our adversaries that he is ready to reestablish American leadership in the Middle East and on the global stage,” said Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County, the only Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation.

“Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians is a violent breach of several international agreements and a threat to American national security, and cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Sen. Ben Cardin, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leading voice in Congress opposing human rights abuses, used similar language in a statement Thursday night. He said the U.S. attack sent “a clear signal that the United States will stand up for internationally accepted norms and rules against the use of chemical weapons.”

But Cardin also adopted a stance embraced by many Democrats and some Republicans that the White House must engage more directly with Congress.

“Any longer-term or larger military operation in Syria by the Trump administration will need to be done in consultation with the Congress,” Cardin said. “Furthermore, it is the president’s responsibility to inform the legislative branch and the American people about his larger policy in Syria, as well as the legal basis for this action and any additional military activities in that country.”

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