Two lawmakers on opposite sides of the aisle agreed Sunday that President Barack Obama should take quick action against the Syrian government following reports it used chemical weapons on their own countrymen.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York disagreed on the role of Congress in response, but both told "Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace that they do not believe there is any doubt that a chemical weapons attack occurred.
"With the amount of social media coming out of Syria, this is not something that the opposition forces have contrived," said Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It's very evident the Assad regime has acted in this way."
Corker called for Obama to act in a "very surgical and responsible way."
Corker hopes Obama "will ask for authorization for Congress" before reacting to the strikes, and then use a method "that gets their attention, that causes them to understand that we are not going to put up with this activity."
However, Engel said Obama should not wait for Congressional or United Nations authorization.
"I think that we have to respond, and we have to respond in conjunction with our NATO allies," said Engel. "I think that we cannot afford to sit back and wait, and we cannot wait for the United Nations."
Instead, Engel said that Obama should take quick action, and he agreed that Congress does need to be involved, "but perhaps not initially."
And not sitting still could mean swift, painful retribution for the Syrian government, said Engel.
"I certainly would do cruise missile strikes," said Engel, insisting he wasn't necessarily advocating "boots on the ground" action.
"You can destroy [Bashar al-] Assad's runways," he said. "We could even destroy the Syrian Air Force if we wanted to … the world is a better place when the United States takes action."
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