Response from Senator Roy Blunt

Thank you for contacting me regarding the continued atrocities in Syria.

Since the conflict began more than two years ago, more than 110,000 Syrians have died, and millions more have been displaced from their homes. On August 21, 2013, President Bashar Assad’s regime launched a chemical weapons attack which killed 1,429 people, more than 400 of whom were children. This confirmed attack is in addition to previous suspected instances of chemical warfare by the Syrian government against its people.

The attack was abhorrent, and the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, but the conflict in Syria demands presidential leadership and international cooperation that we have not yet seen.  The President has asked Congress to endorse a ‘shot across the bow’ approach and has said that Assad will stay in place while a political solution is sought, which stands in contrast to his statement more than two years ago that Assad must ‘step aside.’

After careful consideration and a number of briefings on this topic, I believe this strategy and the unknown response it may provoke are the wrong thing to do, and I will not support the resolution the President has asked for. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, and the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to closely monitor this situation.