Members Of Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation Weigh In On Syria

Wisconsin Republicans Praise President Trump's Actions

USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP Photo

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, said President Donald Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria was “difficult but the right one.”

Mike Gallagher, a freshman lawmaker who represents Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, served two tours in Iraq before working in foreign policy on Capitol Hill.

Gallagher said he believes Trump and his advisers had the right to strike the airfield without consulting Congress. But Gallagher said just because the president acted within his legal authority to authorize the strike, doesn’t mean the president shouldn’t work with Congress on any broader military action.

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“I think we’ve fallen into this false trap and choice of all-out war on the one hand and doing nothing on the other,” Gallagher said, adding it’s not a black and white issue. “The spectrum of conflict is just that, a spectrum, right? And between those two poles lie any number of policy options.”

For long-term stability, Gallagher said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must be ousted before any real progress can be made against terror groups the Islamic State group and al-Qaida.

For that to happen, he says the United States must put up a coordinated front with its Middle Eastern allies.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin agreed with Gallagher that the Trump administration should work with Congress going forward.

Baldwin called the missile strike a “measured response.” But Baldwin said she is concerned about what she calls “the lack of a clear and comprehensive strategy for Syria and the region.”

Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, also criticized the Trump administration for failing to communicate their strategy for Syria to Congress.

“I am not hearing any great enthusiasm from people in Wisconsin for a new prolonged military engagement in the Middle East,” Kind said. “So we’re going to want to hear what President Trump’s strategy is going forward.”

Gallagher was not the only Wisconsin Republican to praise Trump’s actions. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, called the action “appropriate and just.” Republican Sen. Ron Johnson calls the U.S. strike a “swift and appropriate action.”