Rep. Tom Reed took the debate over whether the United States should get involved in Syria directly to constituents this week and is now asking the President to do the same. Reed sent a letter Thursday to the White House reiterating what he heard at his listening sessions on Syria this week: Americans want answers on how U.S. military action will fix the situation and if the President's plan addresses risks of escalation.
"After hearing from several hundred constituents at our Syria listening sessions and from phone calls and emails to our office, it is clear United States military action in Syria is not what residents of the 23rd district want," Reed said. "Absent some compelling information, I remain opposed to action and share many of the same concerns constituents have presented to me. Constituents are concerned about being drawn into a lengthy conflict which may ultimately require increased involvement and put American lives at risk. We are responding to the concerns of our constituents with this letter because these are valid concerns which the Administration has not addressed."
Reed says he appreciates the President's decision to seek authorization from Congress but believes the President must address the American people: "If the President believes military intervention is right and necessary, he must also convince the American people," Reed continued. "To that end, I am asking the President to formally address the nation to explain why he believes intervention in the Syrian civil war is in our country's best interest and to clearly define the goals of the mission."
Having held six listening sessions across the district to gather input, Reed says Americans are engaged and ready to listen. The Congressman conducted public meetings in Big Flats, Dunkirk, Geneva, Hornell, Olean, and Owego Tuesday and Wednesday asking constituents to share their thoughts and concerns about U.S. involvement in Syria. The sentiment expressed was overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. involvement.