Regional lawmakers hesitant to back Obama’s Syria plan
Originally published by The Spokesman-Review (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/sep/04/inland-northwest-lawmakers-hesitant-to-back/)
by Kip Hill
The Inland Northwest congressional delegation is treading softly as President Barack Obama seeks authorization to use a big stick in response to charges that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican serving on the Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee, said he was reluctant to authorize any military action despite the “awful” and “horrendous” conditions in the country. During a committee meeting Tuesday, Risch questioned Secretary of State John Kerry about the country’s response if Russia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors embroiled themselves in the conflict.
“Probably the more likely actor would be Hezbollah,” Risch said, referring to the militant branch of Shiite Islam based in Lebanon that has aligned itself with the ruling regime. “They’re in that country fighting for Assad.”