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Our View: Congress should get back to work on Syria


September 4, 2013

President Barack Obama is asking congressional approval to make military strikes against Syria for its use of outlawed chemical weapons on its own people.

Obama made the case for the actions in a speech Saturday. He surprised many critics by saying that he would seek congressional approval for the move, though he insisted that it is not necessary.

Congressional leaders had demanded that Obama allow for congressional input, but from the reactions of many congressmen it seems they are caught in a quandary having to make the tough decision on whether to give the green light to the assaults.

Obama said an immediate response to the Syrian aggression is not needed, but one can’t help but think that prompt punishment is effective punishment.

No one seems to be in a hurry to make a decision, though. Obama played a game of golf with Vice President Joe Biden after his speech, and most congressmen, including all three members of the Montana delegation, emailed brief noncommittal press releases promising to look into the matter.

But the overall congressional response has been somewhat lackadaisical. Congressional leaders have indicated there is no particular rush to put a halt to their recess and get back to work in Washington.

All three Montana legislators are working on Montana projects while on vacation, but the looming international crisis seems to us to be more important.

It’s time Congress took up the president’s request.


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