Maryland's Congressmen and Senators responded to President Trump's decision to strike the Syrian air base responsible for launching last week's devastating chemical weapons attack.
Dozens of Syrian civilians died last week in a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria.
In response to this violation of international law, President Donald Trump fired 59 Tomahawk missiles – collectively, more than 50,000 pounds of explosives – at the Syrian air base linked to the gas attack.
Here is how Maryland's Congressmen and Senators responded to President Trump's Syria strike.
Senator Ben Cardin (D)
Sen. Cardin - the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - condemned the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against its civilian population and praised the administration's Syria strike as a "clear signal" that the "United States will stand up for internationally accepted norms and rules against the use of chemical weapons."
Cardin then proceeded to stress the importance that any long-term military action will require Congressional approval.
"I cannot stress this enough, any longterm or larger military operation in Syria by the Trump administration will need to be done in consultation with Congress."
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D)
Sen. Hollen declared that the "limited, proportional" strike against Assad's air base was "the right thing to do." However, he warned against the United States getting dragged into war in Syria and demanded that Trump coordinate and consult with Congress "about a comprehensive strategy that includes a political settlement to the conflict"
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D)
Rep. Cummings used the chemical weapons attack and human rights violations in Syria to criticize the Trump administration's refugee policies.
"I am calling on President Trump to immediately rescind his ban on Syrian refugees..."
Congressman Jamie Raskin (D)
Rep. Raskin called the use of chemical weapons on civilians "an atrocity, a nightmare, and a human rights violation evoking outrage across the globe." The praise of the Trump administration's actions ended there, with the Congressman criticizing the administration's lack of a "coherent or effective foreign policy to stabilize the situation."
Tongue-in-cheek, Raskin called on the Trump administration to use its "many contacts within the Russian government to bring an end to the bloodshed and violence."
Congressman John Delaney (D)
Rep. Delany criticized the Trump administration for not putting a full Syria strategy forward in the 72 hours following the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons.
On MSNBC, Delany called for his colleagues to end the Congressional recess early and engage in a "substantial and fact-based" debate to pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)
Congressman Andrew Harris (R)
The lone Republican in Maryland's Congressional delegation, Rep. Harris condemned Bashar al Assad's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people and praised President Trump's Syria strike for showing he is "ready to reestablish American leadership in the Middle East and n the Global stage."
“I fully support President Trump’s decision to strike the Syrian air force base from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched earlier this week. Last night, the President showed our adversaries that he is ready to reestablish American leadership in the Middle East and on the global stage. Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians is a violent breach of several international agreements and a threat to American national security, and cannot be tolerated.”
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D)
Rep. Ruppersberger - whose @Call_Me_Dutch
Twitter handle is the most creative so far - released a statement crediting the Commander in Chief and his national security team with "sending an appropriate and strong message that we will stand up against such barbaric war crimes" and congratulated the Armed Forces on a "well-executed" mission.
Congressman John Sarbanes (D)
Rep. Sarbanes stated plainly in a press release
that the week's chemical weapon attack was yet another "heartrending illustration of Bashar al-Assad’s unconscionable brutality against his own people." He warned the Trump administration against getting the country sucked into another "protracted military engagement in the Middle East" and implored the White House to work with Congress on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force before escalating the strikes any further.
Congressman Anthony Brown (D)
Rep. Brown - a former-Army aviator - praised the President's "proportional response to Assad’s attack against innocent civilians" and predicted that the strike would degrade Assad's ability to use chemical weapons in the future.
He then went on to urge the Trump White House to work with Congress on a long term, comprehensive strategy for Syria.
Congressman Steny Hoyer (D)
House Minority Whip Hoyer released a statement declaring that the Trump administration's Syria strike was an insufficient response to Bashar al Assad's use of chemical weapons. He criticized the Trump administrations lack of a Syria policy, which he claims "sent mixed signals to the Assad regime, to its Russian and Iranian backers, and to the world about what the path forward must be in Syria."