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updated: 8/30/2013 6:34 PM

Duckworth: U.S. shouldn't go alone in Syria

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  • Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth says the U.S. shouldn't go it alone in Syria.

       Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth says the U.S. shouldn't go it alone in Syria.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer


U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth says the U.S. shouldn't go it alone when it comes to military action in Syria.

In a statement Friday, the Hoffman Estates Democrat had strong words in the hours following British Parliament's decision not to intervene.

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"While the United States cannot stand by as innocent civilians are being massacred, it's my responsibility as a member of Congress to make sure we don't commit resources, the most precious of which are our men and women in uniform, with no comprehensive plan for our involvement," Duckworth said in a statement. "America shouldn't bear the burden unilaterally, especially since none of our allies, including those in the region, have committed to action," she added.

Early this week, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, was the only suburban lawmaker to sign onto a letter urging President Barack Obama not to act without congressional approval.

On that point, Duckworth suggests Obama has the power to do it, but she didn't appear to like the idea.

"While I support the president's authority to initiate action since he was elected by this nation and in light of the divisiveness in Congress today, I will have tough questions for the administration should they intervene prior to Congressional approval," the statement says.

At an unrelated event in Vernon Hills Thursday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he was waiting to hear more evidence of chemical weapons attacks in Syria but said "doing nothing is not an option.

"There's been a behind-the-scenes debate for months on Capitol Hill with the administration about what we're going to do in Syria," he said. "Both Democrats and Republicans want some answers to very, very difficult questions. The president has nothing but hard choices here."

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