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Rep. Tom Cole Responds to President's Statement on Syria

by Chris Casteel Published: August 31, 2013

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, who was among the first lawmakers to assert Congress’ role in approving military action against Syria, said Saturday that he was “pleased the president is putting this in the hands of Congress and allow us to have a debate and discussion. I think it is a restoration of Congress’ war-making authority … Congress should have its fingerprints on this decision one way or the other.”
However, Cole said President Barack Obama was essentially forcing Congress “to cash a check that he wrote.”
The president is the one who drew a line in regard to the use of chemical weapons, Cole said, and put the United States in the position of having to back up his stance.
Cole flew to Washington to attend a briefing on Syria and said Saturday that, at this point, he was leaning against approval of any military action. However, he said, he was planning to listen to the president’s arguments and tour his district next week to get input from his constituents. Cole, whose district includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill, has a town hall meeting scheduled for Tuesday in Midwest City.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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