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Rep. Polis Q&A on Syria

What was your initial reaction when you heard congress would be voting on Syria?

I knew that I had to study the issue and read the classified materials and learn about both sides of the argument so I could make a decision.


Of the material you’ve read, what decisions have you made so far?

I am going to a classified briefing in the next couple hours and I look forward to hearing more about it. I’m skeptical of use of force, but I want to hear all the facts before I make my decision.

What feedback have your constituents given you?

It has been all over the map–of course. I sent out a tweet asking for different articles and people have called or tweeted me close to a hundred articles. I am grateful for the information my constituents are sharing.

Have any college students spoken to you about Syria?

I don’t ask who’s a college student. Whether somebody is 16 or 86 I will still listen to them… People of all ages are interested in this issue. It is an issue that affects all Americans and there has been a huge level of interest in learning more about the conflict in Syria and what–if anything– America should do.

Is this an issue students should be concerned about and why?

Student should be concerned about all the issues that affect our country and our security. Whether that’s Syria, whether it’s the deficit, whether it’s education and college affordability, there is a lot of issues that students should be engaged with.

With Boehner and Obama in agreement about military action, what is the current mood like in the house?


Some people support it, some people oppose it and then there are those who are learning more about it and looking at classified information.

How does it feel knowing congress will be voting on military intervention for the first time since World War Two?

It’s an issue that members of congress have to get up to speed on, understand the pros and, cons learn about the costs and risks for our country and make their decisions.

What makes Syria different from past conflicts where presidents intervened without congressional approval?

Each conflict is very different whether it is Syria or Libya each has their own unique attributes. 

What are the major decision factors for your vote on Syria?

I am going to briefings in the next couple hours. I’m looking forward to learning more. I’ll be in a meeting with Secretary Kerry and others in just a couple hours asking a couple questions and learning about the situation… and making this decision shortly.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Bashir Al-Assad said America could expect every type of action in response to an attack, what are your thoughts on this?

Assad’s regime has never been friendly to the United States there are also many elements among the rebels who are not friendly to the United States.

John Kerry stated that if ASSAD was to hand over all chemical weapons this week, That there would be no military action from the U.S. do you see this as a better option?

The world would greatly appreciate it if Assad would hand over any stock pile of chemical weapons he has to make the world a safer place.

You were against the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan? What values made you stand in opposition to the wars and how do those values reflect in the current situation?

I think that the use of force should be a last resort it should be used after all other options are exhausted.

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