ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has released a statement following President Barack Obama's decision to seek Congress' approval to take military action in Syria.
"The president wants to put to rest any doubt the American people may have," Nelson said. "I support the president's decision. But as far as I'm concerned, we should strike in Syria today. The use of chemical weapons was inhumane, and those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences."
Nelson listened to the president's speech today and participated in a briefing by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agrees with the decision to seek Congress' approval before taking action in Syria, and thinks Congress should return to Washington immediately to debate the topic.
"The United States should only engage militarily when it is pursuing a clear and attainable national security goal," Rubio said. "Military action taken simply to send a message or save face does not meet that standard."
Rep. Kathy Castor sent a letter to President Obama Friday opposing any overt military action.
"As I have visited with my neighbors across my district this month I have heard from many of them who are extremely wary of military action that could lead to greater entanglement in a region where fighting factions are not aligned with the United States and our allies or our national interests. I urge you to be cautious and conservative and fully analyze the strategic aftermath," she wrote.
Rep. Vern Buchanan has also released the following statement:
"President Obama made the right decision to seek congressional authorization as he considers launching a military strike against Syria. Serious questions remain as to the wisdom of committing American military might to a civil war in the Middle East where the lines are blurred between friend and foe. The President needs to explain to Congress and the American people why he believes U .S. military involvement is vital to our national security."
President Obama says congressional leaders will debate and vote on the issue when they return to session after their summer recess on Sept. 9.