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Shimkus, Wagner Express Views On U.S. Involvement In Syria

Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI
Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.

Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

A southern Illinois Congressman says the United States shouldn’t get involved in Syria – and worries any form of attack would put this country and its allies at greater risk.

Representative John Shimkus, R-Collinsville says the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians is an international issue – one the U.S. shouldn’t take the lead on.

Shimkus also says working to oust Syrian President Basharal-Assad may only create a power vacuum – leaving numerous opposition groups to battle for control of the nation.

“A lot of those are Islamic radicals that – really – are enemies of the United States," Shimkus says. "Do we empower them to eventually be the ruling authorities in Syria? Do we threaten our allies by getting involved?"

The Collinsville Republican says he’ll vote no on an intervention – even if it means going against House Speaker John Boehner, who came out in support of the plan.

Ann Wagner has set up an exploratory committee for a potential campaign for U.S. Congress.
Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin

Congress is expected to vote on the President’s request next week. 

Missouri's Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, also issued the following statement on involvement in Syria: 

“Anytime the President of the United States wants to take military action, it deserves serious and thoughtful deliberation.   We have been watching the atrocities unfold in Syria, with over 100,000 reported killed, over the last two years.  The president has shown no action, no leadership, only weakness in the region. “During the last few days, I have received hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls and emails to my office in strong opposition to military action in Syria.   I have been attending briefings, meeting with constituents and working with my colleagues in Congress, before returning to Washington for additional classified briefings and hearings.  I do not believe the President or his Administration have made clear and achievable goals to Congress or more importantly the American people for military action in Syria at this time.”