Congressional Reactions to Tonight's Airstrikes in Syria

Here are a selection of reactions tonight to the airstrikes in Syria from members of Congress.

As you can see, they range from supportive, supportive but wanting Congressional authorization for future actions, to various degrees of opposition. We have included a selection of Senators and Representatives from both parties and will update the post as we can with additional reactions.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

Tonight, the administration notified me of the president’s decision to use military action to deter Bashar al-Assad and respond to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. I support both the action and objective.

The tactics employed by the Assad regime to consolidate gains and terrorize the people of Syria defied the U.S. position that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

Last year, we undertook cruise missile strikes against the Shayrat airfield — from which aircraft used in a chemical weapons attack had been launched — and against assets of importance to the regime such as aircraft, hardened shelters, and air defense systems. These actions were intended to make clear to Assad that the use of chemical weapons would be met with a response.

Assad ignored that warning. He ignored the declaratory policy of the United States. He chose to terrorize the people of Douma.

The planning for this robust operation by the United States and our allies was clearly well-considered. It is evident that the President was provided with a number of options, and that our forces executed a challenging mission.

As I noted following last year’s action, our gratitude goes out to the world’s most capable military. Americans have become used to flawless execution on the part of our uniformed military — but of course, none of this could occur without years of training and investment, or the professionalism and dedication of our service members.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX): 


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime for its latest use of chemical weapons, and for signaling his resolve to do so again if these heinous attacks continue. I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action.

I hope these strikes impose meaningful costs on Assad. The message to Assad must be that the cost of using chemical weapons is worse than any perceived benefit, that the United States and our allies have the will and capability to continue imposing those costs, and that Iran and Russia will ultimately be unsuccessful in protecting Assad from our punitive response.

To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region. The President needs to lay out our goals, not just with regard to ISIS, but also the ongoing conflict in Syria and malign Russian and Iranian influence in the region. Airstrikes disconnected from a broader strategy may be necessary, but they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):

Tonight, our commander-in-chief ordered our military to defend America’s vital national security interest in preventing hostile regimes like Syria’s Assad regime from using chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. I salute the men and women of our Armed Forces who conducted this mission bravely and skillfully with our British and French allies. 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.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

Tonight, the United States responded to the atrocities of Bashar al-Assad.

As the President said, it is in our national interest to deter the use of chemical weapons. Critically, that includes preventing those chemical weapons from falling into the hands of the radical Islamic terrorist elements in Syria. It is now absolutely crucial that any further military action we take in Syria remains focused on protecting the vital national security interests of our country.

In addition to any military action that we may choose to take, we must also take action against Assad’s financiers. We should withdraw from President Obama’s disastrous Iran deal that is enriching the Iran government with billions of dollars, and those ill-gotten gains are in turn being funneled to Syria to prop up the Bashar regime.

In the days ahead, I look forward to the President making the case to Congress and the American people that his proposed course of action in Syria is in the national security interests of this country. But tonight, our support and prayers are with the brave Americans in uniform, as well as our trusted allies in France and the U.K., who carried out these military strikes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT):

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL):

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK):

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR):

The Butcher of Damascus learned two lessons tonight the hard way: weapons of mass destruction won’t create a military advantage once the United States is done with you and Russia cannot protect its clients from the United States. President Trump ought to sustain the attacks if Assad doesn’t learn these lessons, and Iran’s ayatollahs and Kim Jong Un might want to learn the easy way. We thank our old British and French friends for once again joining us in defending the civilized world.


Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ):

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA):

Tonight, the United States and our allies executed a strong and unified response to the Assad regime’s recent attacks, making clear that their horrific crimes and use of chemical weapons against their own people will not be tolerated. The evidence produced is indisputable: Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal, and he will be held accountable for his actions.

Russia and Iran are complicit in these chemical weapons attacks on innocent populations. The Trump administration has shown decisive and precise global leadership. We must remain unified with our allies to put a stop to these continued attacks on the Syrian people once and for all.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA):


Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI):

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA):

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY):

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA):

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.



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