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Maine's Congressional Delegation Weighs in on Syria
08/26/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter

As pressure mounts for a military response to the situation in Syria, members of Maine's congressional delegation are weighing in. This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that chemical weapons were used in an attack last week - an event he describes as a "moral obscenity'' that should shock the conscience of the world. As Tom Porter reports, the Syrian conflict has all four of Maine's delegates concerned.

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GOP Sen. Susan Collins issued a statement saying she agrees that last week's attack was a "moral obscenity." But she expressed disappointment that Kerry proposed no specific response. "President Obama," she says, "needs an immediate plan for a targeted response with our allies." She says U.S. credibility is now being directly challenged by Assad.

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine describes the situation as an "humanitarian crisis," that directly affects U.S. national interests. As the U.S. moves closer to miliary action, King wants to see an international coalition to increase the pressure on Assad.

Democratic 2nd District Rep. Mike Michaud, meanwhile, says he's deeply troubled by reports of chemical weapons use, but that he wants the White House to seek congressional approval before taking military action.

Earlier, I asked 1st District Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree for her reaction. To hear that conversation, click the "Listen" button above.


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