|U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette|
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany said Monday that he opposes U.S. military intervention in Syria, becoming the third member of Louisiana's congressional delegation to say he'll vote against President Barack Obama's proposal.
Boustany, a Republican from Lafayette, announced his decision after a briefing with other members of Congress, Vice President Joe Biden and senior Obama administration officials about the president's request for a strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime is deplorable. However, the proposed use of military action alone in Syria, in the absence of a broader diplomatic strategy, will fail to achieve the objective of arriving at a political settlement," Boustany said in a statement.
The Lafayette congressman joins Sen. David Vitter and Rep. John Fleming, both Republicans, in Louisiana's delegation in announcing he will vote against a U.S. military strike. GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander also has said he is leaning against a military response in Syria.
The Obama administration blames Assad for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack against Syrian residents in a rebel-held area of the country. The U.S. says the attack killed more than 1,400 people. Other casualty estimates are lower.
"As horrible as the events in Syria are, and they certainly are horrible, I don't think they pose a direct threat to the U.S. or our allies," Vitter said Monday evening in a telephone town hall meeting with constituents explaining his opposition to Obama's proposal.