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Syria action faces mounting opposition from Oklahoma lawmakers

Six of the seven members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation have stated opposition; Sen. Tom Coburn is undecided, a spokesman said Wednesday
by Chris Casteel Modified: September 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm •  Published: September 4, 2013

Oklahoma lawmakers continued to voice opposition Wednesday to U.S. military action in Syria, as Rep. Frank Lucas joined colleagues in the delegation who don't want to authorize force.

Some members are leaving open a tiny crack in the door while making it clear that it would be tough to convince them to support the authorization sought by President Barack Obama.

“I have a real difficult time imagining how I could vote on a resolution allowing the president to make war in Syria,” Lucas, R-Cheyenne, said at a town hall meeting in Enid, according to the Enid News and Eagle. “If you think we need to be involved in Syria, you're going to have to lecture me pretty hard.”

After attending a closed-door briefing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, reiterated his opposition.

Inhofe, the top Republican on the committee, said the president “must first explain our objectives and end state in Syria, present a long-term strategy for the region and the means to fund it, as well as clarify the risks associated with military intervention.

“Despite several years of bloodshed, we're just now seeing a last-minute rush by the White House to gain the support of Congress and the American people. Until the president comes forward with answers to these questions, no one should vote to authorize an act of war on Syria.”

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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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Other reactions from delegation

• Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, is undecided, spokesman John Hart said Wednesday.

• Reps. Tom Cole, R-Moore, and Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, held town hall meetings on Tuesday at which they expressed opposition to U.S. military intervention.

• Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, released a statement saying he would not vote to authorize force in Syria.


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