Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon | Alabama House delegation skeptical, unconvinced on Syria strike

September 10, 2013
In The News


Alabama House delegation skeptical, unconvinced on Syria strike

By Kim Chandler |  on September 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM, updated September 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM


Alabama’s congressional delegation remained skeptical or undecided about military action in Syria despite President Barack Obama's attempt to court congressional approval during two days of hearings and closed-door meetings.

Obama will take his case to the American public tonight in atelevised address in a bid to rally support for his plan. 

The president has yet to find a firm friend for his proposal among Alabama's six sitting members in the U.S. Representatives, although many said they were still gathering information. 

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said she attended classified briefings on Monday and a closed-door meeting with Vice President Joe Biden this morning.

"What I’ve learned about the administration’s plans has not quelled my doubts. I remain deeply concerned that the use of military force in Syria at this time could have serious negative consequences for our country," Roby said.

“That said, I understand that the situation remains fluid, to say the least, and that other options for dealing with Syria are evolving,” Roby said.

Similarly, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said he has “real concerns about sending cruise missiles into Syria at this time.”

“It still is not clear who exactly we would be helping by taking military action. There are also concerns about how an attack would advance the interests of the United States. I remain skeptical about supporting the president's plan of attack,” he said in a statement issued today. 

Sen. Richard Shelby says he will vote against Syria plan

Rep. Terri Sewell, the only Democrat in the Alabama delegation and a Harvard law school classmate of the president's, also remained undecided, according to a spokeswoman.

“I believe any decision to use military force is one that must be taken with utmost sobriety. Such a responsibility should never be taken lightly,” Sewell, D-Birmingham, said in a statement issued on Sept. 6.

The office of Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, issued a statement Monday saying the congressman was “skeptical of the evidence presented so far, but will withhold judgment on any resolution while this debate continues.”

“Congressman Rogers believes the United States is in this situation with Syria for one reason: President Obama’s failure to lead,” the statement read.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, last week applauded the president for seeking congressional approval. A spokeswoman said Brooks is expected to make a statement about Syria on the House floor in the morning.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, in an Aug. 29 letter urged the president to seek congressional approval before action in Syria. His office did not release an updated position statement.

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