Despite the strong lobbying efforts by President Barack Obama and his administration, one local lawmaker remains skeptical about taking military action in Syria.
In comments made to the Herald on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, indicated that he was not in support of the president’s call for a military strike against the Syrian government.
“Right now I’m not leaning toward sending our young men and women into harm’s way,” Williams said.
Both the president and Secretary of State John Kerry have been busy trying to convince lawmakers and the American public to support a strike, which they characterized as limited in nature.
Washington lawmakers received a classified briefing on Syria on Sunday. The information provided appeared not to be enough to win Williams’ support.
“I went in there with three questions: what’s the mission, what’s the exit strategy and what’s the cost,” said Williams. “I came out, and I still had those same three questions.”
Williams visited Central Texas College on Tuesday to speak to members of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce at a governmental affairs luncheon. Despite his reservations about military action in Syria, Williams called for a strong military.
“The problem is that our enemies don’t fear us, and our friends maybe don’t trust us,” Williams said.
The first-term congressman touched on a number of other topics in his speech to members, including the budget, job creation, energy and health care.
He also mentioned plans to introduce the “Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act.” The bill, which is backed by several Texas lawmakers, would reclassify the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting that killed 13 and wounded more than 30 at Fort Hood as an act of terrorism rather than workplace violence.
Williams, along with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep, John Carter, R-Round Rock announced the legislation at a ceremony Monday in Killeen.
Williams said the bill would be introduced Monday.