Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Nunes working on bipartisan Syria resolution urging diplomacy

Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin have agreed on the principles of a resolution that encourages President Barack Obama to use diplomatic channels — and not force — in the Syria crisis.

“The key here is it is bipartisan and bicameral,” Nunes said of the agreement.

Nunes said Friday that details of the resolution will be worked out over the weekend. The goal, however, is “something that gives the president good direction” on where Congress is.

Rep. Devin Nunes

A resolution authorizing force, Nunes said, is unlikely to be approved.
Obama has been seeking support for military strikes against Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war. Obama says Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in the conflict.

But Nunes, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, says the situation in the war-racked Middle Eastern nation is so unstable and ever-changing that it is too difficult to sort out the good guys from the bad ones.

In fact, Nunes says, some sort of limited military strike like the one currently under consideration by the Obama administration could make things worse. The Middle East is a powder keg where the law of unintended consequences reigns supreme, he said.

Among those unknowns are the chances a U.S. strike could spark a wider Middle Eastern conflict.

Nunes stated his position Friday morning while answering a question following a breakfast address to the Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce. He fleshed out some of the detail in a subsequent interview, where he also talked of the pending joint resolution with Manchin.

Already, Nunes has put together a Syria resolution that would make Obama respond to a list of nine questions and report back to Congress before initiating any sort of military action.

Among the questions:

  • How would a limited strike help secure Syria’s chemical weapons supplies and deter their future use, and how would it advance Obama’s policy supporting “regime change?”
  • Does al Qaeda or other terrorist groups in Syria have access to chemical weapons and have they used them in the past or could they in the future?
  • What is the financial cost of the Obama administration plan?

Nunes said there was a time to take military action against Syria, but that time is long past.

Now, he said, “we don’t have a lot of good options.”

Responses

J. Correia LTC Army Ret, Iraq vet. says:

Let’s see, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, Iran and of course the major player Russia. All involved in Syria. Now chemical WMD’s are serious, so is positive proof to the rest of the world. Now we want to make it a global issue by US intervention. Mr. Obama, please use diplomacy with Russia there the “out card” unless you think supporting al-Qaida and friends will bring back the 1.5 million refugees to Syria…and besides our threat warning will go up and we will lose our fingernail clippers at the airport security check again. Oh by the way, instead use the money to repair our 8,800 bridges in the US. Create jobs and save lives too, wow, what a concept.

Nick_1 says:

This is wonderful news! Nunes had originally stated the he believed that President Obama should “consult closely with Congress before deciding how to respond.” When the president went to Congress, Nunes then released a statement claiming that President Obama was, “hiding behind Congress.” So presumably, “bipartisanship” must mean that Nunes has first decided to reconcile the two sides of himself.

Ray McClure says:

I agree with Devin…Our commander and chief missed the military response window.He leaves the United States looking weak and non committal.

If we din’t know within the first hour of the chemical release who was responsible I would be surprised. Our intelligence agency should know and the military should have had options on the table within minutes.

Our commander/community organizer doesn’t have the salt to make this type of decision. He’s now asking Congress to pull the trigger leaving him void of decision involvement.

MANUEL HERNANDEZ says:

you are spot on with your decision to develop your own resolution on Syria. we cannot afford to enter another conflict. azamerica struggles with its economy unemployment and health care adding the burden of another war with the cost and that cost in human lives is not a wise decision at this point. I believe the presidentis trying to deflect from his domestic problems. Congress should not allow the President to get a way to start another war for no good reason. it is time to say enough is enough and move forward with repairing what’s wrong in America

Mary Ellen Johnson says:

Thank you, Congressman, for getting other members on board. The news media does not do a good job in explaining al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and that they are rebels and are the ones who took over Egypt, now persecuting Christians and civilians.
Many of us keep signing petitions.

Jeri Kanawyer says:

If I had stopped to ask what the cost of raising my grandchildren was when my daughter passed away-I hope someone would have slapped me-what the hell does that matter when our very core is at stake? It’s time for action. The money wont matter if we’ve lost our soul.

Phillip Cronin says:

Honorable Congressman Nunes,
President Obama’s proposed missile strike is best summed up in the following critique by Lt. General Thomas McInerny, Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters and Lt. Colonel Allen West: This strike lack strategic, operational and tactical objectives.
There is no real American interest at stake here. There is unknown and unknowable risks, costs and consequences in the President’s plan. The majority of Americans have no confidence in the veracity, reliability or leadership of this President. Appeals to patriotism are reminiscent of Dr. Samuel Johnson: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Respectfully, Phil Cronin

R. Havey says:

I applaud Congressman Nunes unlike the Senate with its old guard GOP who pander to the President. It is my opinion John McCain and Lindsey Graham need to grow a spine before lecturing us about moderate muslim dying. As I remember it President Obama and Sec. Clinton blamed Benghazi on a video. There seems to be a pattern of the Obama Administration being less than truthful. Where was the President when 4 Americans were murdered. Who order the rescue forces to “Stand Down”?

TOM SWANSON says:

Obama has failed America again. He needs to go ASAP. No reaction to Syria on the first day showed weakness. Standby on 9-11, Obama turned his back on one embassy now he has done that to the USA. He is a useless jerk who is destroying this country.

Joseph G. Darrow, III says:

The civil war in Syria is over religion. I seem to remember from my history lessons that much the same thing happened between Protestants and Catholics many years ago (more recently in Ireland). This battle over religion will probably spread throughout the whole region. The US can do little to change what is happening. Bombing Syria to “teach Assad a lesson” will just kill even more people, but will not destroy the chemical weapons in Syria.

Vernon Peterson says:

What’s needed isn’t military but humanitarian intervention. Food medicine etc.

Glen Christensen says:

Thank you for doing such a great service to our country and your constituents. That is exactly how a huge majority of us feel.

carol says:

Impeach Obama now

Valiollah Khani says:

Obama says he’s considering ‘limited’ act in Syria http://news.msn.com/us/obama-says-hes-considering-limited-act-on-syria#tscptmt What is the goal here – to make a bad situation, for humanity/people, better or worse? If the goal is making the situation better, sincere dialogue and honest diplomacy, with good intentions and objectivity, is the solution. Trudging the old conventional path of war and destruction will only bring more suffering and devastation. I believe there are ulterior motives involved here. I believe the goal is destroying, or at least weakening any regional nation who does not agree with the Zionist aggressions and racism inflicted on Palestinians. Our youths and progressive generation would like to depart from the counter productive ways of problem solving. We like to see innovative leaders who do not compound problems. Leaders who research the root causes of hostilities and pave the path for peace, prosperity, and love – not war! If wars could solve problems, the two world wars would have sufficed!Besides,no military action,no matter how destructive,will not yield a desired political outcome unless we have men on the ground who seek our objectives. It appears that we have no objective but reeking destruction on the Syrian people. Let’s condemn all violence no matter who the perpetrator may be. Would Obama have taken the same stance if an “ally” had done so? One wonders if violence by conventional weapons is good and bad only if done by chemical/nuclear weapons.One also wonders if the U.S. has chemical and nuclear weapons, and whether our weapons would cause death and destruction or not?

Valiollah Khani says:

I admire and applaud all senators and representatives who oppose military action against Syria. I wish this mentality had existed before invading Iraq/Afghanistan. The world is in need of individuals who are wise and brave enough who condemn violence and stand for peace and peaceful means of problem solving. Violence begets violence. We need to depart from the counter-productive and violent means of problem solving – namely war. If wars could solve problems that humanity faces the two World Wars would have sufficed – let alone all other wars. Innovative leaders who can divert from the inherited means and precedent are in demand as well as being praised! Yes, we must change course, condemn violence, and do not commit violence our-selves!

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