Tennessee’s Congressional delegation is supporting the airstrikes in Syria ordered by President Trump and carried out on Thursday.
Both United States Senators from Tennessee and all nine members of the delegation from the Volunteer State in the U.S. House of Representatives–seven Republicans and two Democrats– in public statements late Thursday and early Friday gave Trump’s actions their support.
The airstrikes are in response to a chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian government against its own people in a rebel-controlled area.
Sen. Bob Corker, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a news release that he approves of Trump’s “decisive action.”
“The U.S. and world community stood by as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad brutally tortured and murdered more than 500,000 of his own people, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action following the latest chemical weapons attack,” Corker said. “It is critical that Assad knows he will no longer enjoy impunity for his horrific crimes against his own citizens, and this proportional step was appropriate. As we move forward, it will be important for the administration to engage with Congress and clearly communicate its full strategy to the American people.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a news release that the limited missile strike launched Thursday night against an air base in Syria was “an appropriate immediate response.” He added that the president should seek authorization from Congress for any further military action in Syria so that Congress can evaluate the consequences of additional engagement on U.S. national security interests.
Rep. David Kustoff said Trump took “bold and necessary action.”
“This is a sign of strength from the Trump administration and a reminder that America will not stand by while innocent lives are taken,” Kustoff said in a news release.
Rep. Diane Black tweeted her support for the airstrikes. “We must stand up to bullies with strength & unity,” she said.
Late Thursday night, Rep. Marsha Blackburn indicated her support of the President’s actions with this “retweet” of a Washington Times article:
“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” Trump said after ordering airstrike on Syria: https://t.co/hNCA9mHoWp
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) April 7, 2017
Also late Thursday, Rep. Scott DesJarlais retweeted this tweet from the House Armed Services Committee on which he serves:
Support Presidents decision to take military action in Syria Hope this action will help deter future atrocities by Assad regime @MacTXPress
— Armed Services (@HASCRepublicans) April 7, 2017
“While I do not think we should become entangled in another ground war in the Middle East, this measured response was appropriate to send the message that the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons to murder innocent civilians, especially children,” Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. said.
“Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said the attacks showed the United States would hold Assad accountable and that “his continued brutality against innocent civilians will not be tolerated,” the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
“I completely support President Trump’s crucial and necessary action to strike the Syrian airbase,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said.
Even the two Democrats in the Tennessee delegation had positive comments on Trump’s actions.
“The Tennessee delegation’s two Democrats – Reps. Steve Cohen of Memphis and Jim Cooper of Nashville – offered more a measured response,” the Knoxville News Sentinel reported:
Cohen said the strikes were in response to “a heinous act” by Assad but wondered if they came too late. “President Obama probably should have responded, but he did see an alternative to military action,” Cohen said, referring to a 2013 deal in which the Russians agreed to help confiscate and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.
“Obviously, the Russians lied,” Cohen said.
Cooper said the air strikes minimized immediate danger to U.S. troops “and, I hope, will stop Syria and Russia from their atrocities.”
“But this is the Middle East,” he said. “It is too early to say if these 59 Tomahawk missiles will further U.S. interests or not.”