A Democratic House member and Republican senator found common ground on a foreign policy question, agreeing that the United States needs to bomb Syria in response to the latest reported chemical weapons attack by dictator Bashar al-Assad.
“I certainly would do cruise missile strikes,” Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee, said on Fox News Sunday. “I think you can do that without boots on the ground, without having Americans in harm’s way. You can destroy the runways–Assad’s runways. You could destroy his munitions and you could destroy his fuel.
“There are lots and lots of things we could do. We could even destroy the–the Syrian Air Force, if we wanted to,” Engel continued. “I just think that we have to move and we have to move quickly.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., (Engel’s counterpart on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) agreed, though with less specificity. “I think we will respond in a surgical way,” he said. “And I hope the president, as soon as we get back to Washington, will ask for authorization from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way, something that gets their attention that causes them to understand that we are not going to put up with this kind of activity.”
Congressional action isn’t an urgent priority for Engel. “I do agree with Senator Corker that I think Congress needs to be involved, but perhaps not initially,” he said. “Perhaps the president could start and then Congress needs to resolve it an–and assent to it.
“But we cannot sit still. We’ve got to move and we’ve got to move quickly,” he reiterated.
“It may not wait,” Corker said when commenting on the schedule of the bombing. “I mean, if again, additional activities occur there, I think we should respond. My guess is that will not be the case.”