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Maryland representatives Cummings, Harris, Ruppersberger weigh in on U.S. missile attack in Syria

The Baltimore Sun

Three congressional representatives from Maryland reacted via Twitter to the missile attack launched by the U.S. and its allies against Syria on Friday evening.

President Donald Trump ordered strikes, in coordination with France and Britain, to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians, officials said. Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted Assad's programs to develop and produce such weapons.

Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican who represents Maryland’s 1st District, praised the action Saturday.

In comments posted on his Twitter feed, Harris said: “​The use of chemical weapons can never be tolerated in the civilized world. I commend President Trump for leading the multinational effort to make sure that Assad realizes the consequences of such acts.”

But the action fielded an opposing view from Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who represents the 7th District.

In a series of posts on his Twitter feed late Friday, the congressman condemned Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons but also said a violent reaction from America would not resolve the issue. He also said Congress must play an oversight role in such military actions.

“The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime is unforgivable and cannot be tolerated,” Cummings said in a tweet. “However, responding with violence will not bring peace. The previous airstrikes ordered by President Trump have not helped bring stability to this country and they certainly will not help now. Moreover, we must open our arms to those fleeing this conflict.

“Finally, the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. The President must obtain congressional authorization to use military force in Syria, and it is unacceptable that he did not do so before ordering tonight's military action.”

Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, a Democrat who represents the 2nd District, took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, saying he approved of the strike.

“Approve last night’s military action in Syria in concert w/ allies. No place in civilized society for chemical weapons,” Ruppersberger Tweeted. “Let’s hope Assad finally gets the message. realDonaldTrump still needs comprehensive strategy reviewed/approved by Congress. Bipartisan support for new [Authorization for Use of Military Force].”

In the aftermath of Friday’s attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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