Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Where does your Calif. representative stand on Iraq involvement?

86616 full
86616 full

"Reluctant" is the best way to describe the California delegation's response to sending military advisers to Iraq. In fact, the first response you hear when bringing up the topic is a loud sigh.

  • The new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield says he doesn't have a problem sending 300 advisers. What he wants to know is "what is the strategy are you going to have going forward?"
  • Retiring Democrat Henry Waxman of West L.A., who voted to authorize military action back in 2002, has "serious doubts" about sending advisers.
  • Republican John Campbell of Irvine, who wasn't in Congress for the vote on Iraq, wonders what good advisers will do.
  • Democrat Grace Napolitano of El Monte, who voted against military action a decade ago, opposes action now, worrying about the cost. She points our that Brown University estimates we've already spent a trillion dollars in Iraq.

A handful of members want the U.S. to do more.

  • Democrat Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana supports air strikes, as long as we know why we're doing it.
  • Fullerton Republican Ed Royce, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee wants drone strikes.
  • And Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein says both air strikes and drone strikes could be "absolutely" part of our response to the surge by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

If you're looking for party politics, you'll find plenty of willingness to assign blame for the current situation in Iraq.

Democrats blame George W. Bush for getting us into Iraq; Republicans blame Barack Obama doing a poor job getting us out.

  • Granite Bay Republican Tom McClintock blames both, saying Iraq's been "botched up by two administrations." 

But the person both Democrats and Republicans can agree to be furious with is Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

  • Fresno Democrat Jim Costa says he "squandered" American blood and treasure.
  • Sherman Oaks Democrat Brad Sherman says Maliki insisted that any troops remaining in Iraq after 2011 would be subject to "kangaroo courts and could be executed on trumped-up charges."
  • Vista Republican Darrell Issa says Maliki's "bad behavior" – disenfranchising the Kurds and the Sunnis – "planted the seeds for where we are today."
  • Huntington Beach Republican Dana Rohrabacher urges Kurdistan to declare independence with U.S. blessings.
  • Burbank Democrat Adam Schiff says he has "grave doubts" that Maliki can "fix a problem largely of his own making" and believes that new leadership is in Iraq's "best interests."

Not every member was willing to give an opinion. Most of those staying mum face tough races in November: Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock, and Democrats Julia Brownley of Ventura, and Raul Ruiz of Palm Springs.

Read what your member of Congress has to say in KPCC's interactive graphic. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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