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UPDATE: Rep. Johnson Not Impressed by Administration's Syria Briefing
Posted on: 09/02/2013
By  Mike Cullums, Jamey Styer
 
As the debate rages about US involvement in the Syrian civil war, southeast Ohio's US representative rushed back to Washington for a briefing yesterday, and was not impressed with the result.
 
Republican Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement Sunday, after attending a classified Congressional briefing on the situation in Syria:
 
"Given how important this Congressional briefing was, for the President to make his case for taking military action in Syria, I was surprised that neither he, nor the Vice President, nor any cabinet level official was in attendance. 
 
"The decision on whether or not to commit American troops and risk American lives when the United States is not directly threatened is a difficult one, and the President has the heavy burden of convincing the Congress and the American people of its merits. I left this afternoon’s briefing with more questions and concerns than I had when I arrived."
 
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Sixth District Congressman Bill Johnson on Thursday night issued a press release regarding US plans to attack Syria.  
 
Johnson - a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel - says he joined colleagues in sending a letter directly to President Obama on the issue of a potential military attack. The letter urges the White House to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of military force. 
 
Johnson says that, since Syria does not pose an imminent threat to the United States, the president is required to receive consent from Congress, as outlined in the Constitution and the War Powers Act. 
 
The congressman says he is ready to travel back to Washington at a moment's notice, adding that he views involvement in the Syrian civil war as an extremely serious issue that must require authorization from Congress.  He says he would only vote for a resolution if clear goals and an exit strategy are spelled out.
 
News reports indicate that a growing number of Republicans and Democrats oppose military action in Syria. The British Parliament yesterday voted against taking part.    
 
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