Should Obama seek approval from Congress to strike Syria?

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August 30, 2013, 6:09 pm
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(NECN: Brian Burnell, New London, Conn.) - As the sabre-rattling over chemical attacks in Syria grows louder, so, too, does the debate over what the U.S. should do about it.

White House aides say President Obama is considering a punitive strike against military targets in the country.

In the meantime, an NBC News poll shows nearly 80 percent of Americans believe the President should seek Congressional approval before launching an attack.

Conn. Congressman Joe Courtney is on the House Armed Services Committee.

"If there was any indication that this was really going to involve any kind of effort of any duration then the answer is 'yes,'" said Courtney when asked whether he wants the opportunity to vote on military action.

Courtney's view reflects public opinion.

A majority of people say if the action is severely limited, then the President shouldn't have to go to Congress.

"If it's unilateral, then I would say 'yes,'" said Jay Harlow of New York. "If other countries on the Security Council are involved, then I would say 'no.'"

Some disagree, saying that is cutting it too finely.

Matt Chiesiclski from Chicago is among those.

"Should the President have to seek Congressional approval? Absolutely, and I think President Obama agrees," he said. "Back in October of 2007 when he was the Senator from Illinois, he said exactly that thing. That before any intervention at all, the President should submit the plans to the Congress for approval."

Dave Sperduti of East Greenwich, R.I. added, "If you're taking action against any country it should be more than one person's decision. That's what these people are there for."

Courtney says he thinks the President should call Congress back into session immediately so he can make his case.

Tags: barack Obama, Illinois, rhode island, connecticut, Chicago, New York, President Obama, John Kerry, East Greenwich, Brian Burnell, New London, Syria, Security Council, damascus, House Armed Services Committee, Bashar Assad , Joe Courtney, chemical weapons, bashar al-assad, chemical warfare, chemical attack, Jay Harlow, Matt Chiesiclski, Dave Sperduti
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