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Glad to see Congressman Bruce Braley (D. IA-01), who is running for Senator Tom Harkin's (D. IA) seat, was one of the people to sign this letter:

More than 100 lawmakers, including 16 Democrats, have signed a letter that says President Obama would violate the Constitution by striking Syria without first getting authorization from Congress.

A total of 107 lawmakers had signed the letter as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, highlighting bipartisan interest and growing momentum in ensuring a role for Congress in any decision to use force in Syria.

“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution,” states the letter, spearheaded by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.).

Rigell has extended his deadline for signatories until this evening to give more members of Congress a chance to add their names. He intends to deliver the letter to the White House on Thursday.

The Democrats who have signed the letter so far are Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Gene Green (Texas), Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), William Enyart (Ill.), Tim Walz (Minn.), Sam Farr (Calif.), Bruce Braley, (Iowa), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Michael Capuano (Mass.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Peter Welch (Vt.) and Rick Nolan (Minn.). - The Hill, 8/28/13

Braley also had this to say:

“In no uncertain terms, I strongly condemn the apparent use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people. These actions, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children, are heinous and reprehensible. Such actions clearly violate the Geneva Conventions and international law,”
Braley said in a prepared statement.

However, he added that Congress should be a part of deciding the proper use of American force, and ensuring there is a plan for the aftermath of any military intervention.

“Congressional involvement not only will add credibility to our actions in the international community, it will send a stronger message to the Syrian regime that America stands united against its despicable acts,” Braley said. - Des Moines Register, 8/28/13

I'm also not totally surprised that Braley would sign this letter.  Braley recently returned from a trip to Israel to get some perspective on what's been going on in the Middle East region:

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo speaks during a debate on the Wartburg College Campus Oct. 10, 2010 in Waverly, Iowa. (AP Photo/Waterloo Courier, Matthew Putney)
Congressman Bruce Braley has just returned from a trip to the Middle East where he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders who’ve agreed to resume peace talks.

Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, was one of 37 members of congress to make the trip.

“It’s one thing to talk about policy that is being impacted by events in other parts in the world. It’s another thing to be on the ground, hear with your own ears and see with your own eyes see some of the unique and extraordinary challenges the state of Israel faces, that the surrounding complications in Egypt and Syria and Iran are having.”

The trip started Sunday, August 4 and the group returned Tuesday, August 13. The American Israel Education Foundation made the arrangements for the group and covered the cost of the travel. - Radio Iowa, 8/15/13

And Braley has been talking his trip to the Middle East on his campaign stops:

Braley’s stop in Knoxville came shortly after his return from Israel. He said seeing the border between Israel and Palestine, which is quite small, really gave him a deeper sense of the security issues faced by those in the region. During his visit, Braley also met with the Prime Minister, President and Principal Negotiator for Palestine. Braley said he has a deep appreciation for Secretary of State John Kerry’s work to bring Israel and Palestine back to the negotiation table.

Turmoil continues to exist in the Middle East, and Braley was asked how involved America should be in these situations. Braley believes that America is fatigued because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but did not rule out support for American intervention.

“I see (fatigue) in the faces of parents of soldiers,” Braley said. With power shifting and the coup in Egypt, Braley said it can be difficult to determine who in the Middle East is a friend or an enemy. If we choose sides, we learn quickly. Braley believes there is a fine line between getting involved in these conflicts too quickly and soon enough to temper a situation.

Braley said he wants to continue to digest things as they move forward. He said the world is facing a murky situation, without a clear path forward. - Journal Express, 8/23/13

I'm glad Braley is standing up and trying to slow down and stop any action being taken in Syria.  Especially because of this:

Iranian lawmakers and commanders issued stark warnings to the United States and its allies on Tuesday, saying any military strike on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel fanned by “the flames of outrage.”

The warnings came against a backdrop of rising momentum among Western governments for a military intervention in the Syrian conflict over what the United States, Britain, France and others have called undeniable evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used banned chemical weapons on civilians last week, killing hundreds. Mr. Assad has accused the insurgents who are trying to topple him of using such munitions.

Iran, which itself came under chemical weapons assault by Iraq during its eight-year war in the 1980s, has been a loyal ally of the Syrian government. Iranian hard-liners often say Syria is Iran’s first trench in a potential war with hostile Western powers. Iran has blamed Israel for the conflict in Syria, saying Israel is trying to bring down Mr. Assad.

“In case of a U.S. military strike against Syria, the flames of outrage of the region’s revolutionaries will point toward the Zionist regime,” the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mansur Haqiqatpur, an influential member of Parliament, as saying on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Tuesday after security meetings in Tel Aviv that, “The State of Israel is ready for any scenario. We are not part of the civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.” - New York Times, 8/28/13

If you would like to thank Braley for standing up on this issue, please do donate to his 2014 campaign because we could use more guys like him in the Senate:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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