Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says President Obama made a wise decision in asking Congress to postpone a vote on a resolution that would authorize a military strike in Syria.
The President’s request comes after Russia indicated it will join diplomatic efforts to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons. Johnson (R-WI) says the U.S. and international community now need to make sure Russia follows through on that rhetoric. He says “this creates an opening that we need to try and take full advantage of and really pressure Russia.”
Johnson admits he’s skeptical about Russia’s willingness to push Syria to comply and he believes the country “might be playing games,” Still, the Wisconsin Republican says Russia does have a shared interest in preventing Syria’s chemical weapons from falling in to the wrong hands. Johnson says the best way to avoid having a totally failed state in Syria is to engage their number one ally.
If diplomacy fails, Johnson says the U.S. needs to continue building international support before it considers moving ahead with military action. He says the President should not call for a vote on a resolution authorizing a strike unless he knows it will pass, since its failure could damage the nation’s credibility in the eyes of other nations. Johnson says that would be “the worst possible outcome.”
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:15)
While Johnson held off on saying how he would vote on a resolution if it came to the Senate floor, other members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation have made it clear in recent days that they would oppose U.S. military action in Syria if it comes to a vote. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said in a speech Tuesday that she opposes the nation acting alone. Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) says he opposes a strike, while Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) says Tuesday night’s address to the nation by Obama moved him from a “no” to a “hell no” on the issue.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) also released a statement Wednesday, which says he does not believe the proposed strike can achieve its stated objectives and fears it will, in fact, make things worse. Ryan says “a feckless show of force will only damage our credibility.”