U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin) is apparently the first Central Texas member of Congress to announce publicly his views on whether the U.S. should strike Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. While he calls the use of chemical weapons "reprehensible," Williams doesn't support U.S. military intervention, because he believes Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has had enough time to prepare for one.
“For weeks now, the President and his administration have broadcast to the world what a U.S. response to these horrific acts might entail," Williams said in an emailed statement. "Unfortunately, this has given the Assad regime ample time to protect any military targets."
"After attending a classified briefing by the White House on Sunday, I am not convinced that attacking Syria and putting our soldiers at risk is in the best interest of our national security," he said.
So far, other Austin-area members of Congress have refrained from declaring their support for or against a military strike.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) expressed skepticism about limited strikes in an interview Monday with MSNBC. "If this is about sending him a message, there are other ways of sending him a message about the horrors of the criminality in which he appears to have been involved," Doggett said.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) told Fox News last week that his main concern is the threat of seeing chemical weapons "brought into the United States and turned against Americans." McCaul has not publicly supported or opposed the Obama administration's draft resolution calling for the use of force, but he will attend a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on Wednesday to discuss the resolution.
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio), whose district includes a slice of Austin, hasn't posted to Facebook or Twitter since August 2. He did issue a press release on a separate issue today, involving the EPA's purported refusal to respond to a controversial subpoena. Smith is the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) said Monday in Killeen that he was waiting to find out what the federal government really knows about the situation. “I think we all as members of Congress owe a duty to the American people to get all the information and find out where the intelligence comes from," he said. "Quite honestly, we’ve had some bad situations in the past on intelligence.”