An image grab taken from a video shows opposition fighter holding a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) as his fellow comrades take cover from an attack by regime forces on August 26, 2013 during clashes over the strategic area of Khanasser, situated on the only road linking Aleppo to central Syria. Rebels had in recent days captured several villages in Aleppo province, much of which is already in the hands of anti-regime fighters, before taking Khanasser, situated on the highway to Hama in central Syria, thus cutting the army's only supply route to the northern province. AFP PHOTO / SALAH AL-ASHKAR (Photo credit should read SALAH AL-ASHKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
California's congressional delegation has begun weighing in about what the United States should do in reaction to allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict there.
We're tracking congressmembers' responses; read some below and read the rest in this chart.
Republican Congressman John Campbell of Irvine:
"I oppose any U.S. military involvement in this conflict in which there are no 'good guys'. Any potential military action could have the consequence of expanding into a much wider conflict and is not warranted by U.S. foreign policy interests. We should stay out of it."
Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa of Redding:
"The crisis in Syria does not directly threaten our nation and should receive careful consideration by Congress prior to any military involvement.”
Republican Congressman Tom McClintock of Granite Bay:
"The Constitution clearly and unmistakably vests Congress with the sole prerogative to declare war.
"War is not a one-sided act that can be turned on and off with Congressional funding. Once any nation commits an act of war against another, from that moment it is at war — inextricably embroiled and entangled with an aggrieved and belligerent government and its allies that have casus belli to prosecute hostilities regardless of what Congress then decides.
"If there are facts that compel us to take such a course, let those facts be laid before Congress and let Congress fulfill its rightful constitutional role on the most momentous decision any government can make.
"I believe that absent an attack or imminent threat to the United States or a specific authorization by Congress, the order of a military attack on the government of Syria would be illegal and unconstitutional."
Republican Congressman Buck McKeon (Chairman, House Armed Services Committee) of Santa Clarita:
“One thing that bothers me is the president drawing a red line without knowing in his mind what he would do if they crossed the red line.”
Democratic Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod of Ontario:
"The recent escalation of atrocities inflicted by the Syrian government on its own citizens leaves little doubt that it has no intention of abiding by any standard of moral decency that is recognized by the international community. Americans are outraged by President Assad's willful disregard for human rights through the use of chemical weapons. This action no longer justifies a strictly 'hands off' diplomacy to what Americans once perceived as a regional conflict. Today I join my fellow lawmakers in condemning the Assad regime. I stand with them, prepared to consult with President Obama on setting forth a course of action that affirms our nation's commitment to human rights."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco:
"It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security. We must be clear that the United States rejects the use of chemical weapons by Assad or any other regime. What Assad has done is outside the realm of basic human rights."
Republican Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach:
“When our national security is at stake, we are willing to battle any foe. But we shouldn’t be looking for trouble and barging into somebody else’s fight. If we get sucked into the Syrian conflict there will be a heavy price to pay in both treasure and blood and the American people have shed too much blood in that region already.”
Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of Lakewood:
“It is unacceptable for any government to attack, injure, and kill its own people. With that said, I strongly urge President Obama to seek Congressional approval before authorizing any U.S. military intervention in Syria."
Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana:
"The situation in Syria is about as complicated as it could be. A military action by the United States could have unintended consequences that could, in fact, make the situation worse. We should take all necessary steps to support the United Nations inspection efforts and keep a close watch on who has access and who could have access to chemical weapons. We need to make sure an attack of this nature cannot happen again. Going forward, Congress should be involved in any course of action that the Obama Administration takes."
Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks:
"Under the War Powers Act the President may not put American forces into hostilities for more than 60 days without Congressional approval.
"The Syrian opposition includes al-Qaeda affiliated elements. However the Assad regime poses a greater threat to U.S. national security interests as is illustrated by Assad's alliance with Iran and Hezbollah. We should demonstrate to Assad, and dictators who come after him, that they will pay a significant military price if they use chemical weapons — particularly if they use chemical weapons on a large scale against civilians."
A spokesman for Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of Livermore:
"Congressman Swalwell has been briefed by U.S. military generals and intelligence officials on the developing situation in Syria. He strongly condemns Syria's use of chemical weapons but believes we must proceed with extreme caution and learn as much as possible about the deeply divided groups in the country before becoming actively involved in the conflict."
Note: This list will be updated, so keep checking back if you don't see your representative.