Most lawmakers support US, allies strike on Syria

Explosions rock Syrian capital as President Trump announces strikes

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter

WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders are mostly supporting President Donald Trump's decision to launch airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack against civilians - although there are some reservations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is praising Trump's "decisive action in coordination with our allies," adding, "We are united in our resolve."

Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain is applauding the airstrikes but says "they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East."

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer is calling the airstrikes "appropriate," but says "the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria."

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says, "One night of airstrikes is not a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy."

Despite being of different parties, both Florida's senators backed the attack.

"I salute the men and women of our Armed Forces who conducted this mission bravely and skillfully with our British and French allies," Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said in a statement. "I urge the administration to follow up with a real and comprehensive strategy for ending Assad’s threat to his people, to the region and to U.S. security, and for countering Russian and Iranian support for the Syrian dictatorship’s ongoing barbarity.”

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson tweeted that he backed the president's decision.

Despite announcing this week he would run to unseat Nelson, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was on the same side of this issue.

"It's the absolute right thing to do," he tweeted. "Along side our European allies, we must do what the previous administration wouldn't, which is respond swiftly and forcibly to use of chemical weapons."

Support among members of Congress representing Northeast Florida were was not universal. While Democratic Rep. Al Lawson supported the strike, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho called it the wrong move.

"This is an act of war because you're attacking a sovereign nation," Yoho told News4Jax on Friday night. "There's going to be a price for this."


Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.