Rep. Kevin Brady, a deputy whip in the House, tells Newsmax TV that he still doesn’t have a “good feel” where his fellow Republicans stand on President Barack Obama’s request for military intervention in Syria but he believes our enemies will “laugh” at the U.S.
“Our real national security interest in the region is protecting our friend Israel,” the Texan said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“What President Obama's proposed is not the type of very strong, forceful military action necessary to deter North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” he said. “They'll laugh at this message and continue to build their weapons. I don't see a reason to risk our military resources that are so precious on this ineffective mission.”
Brady and other Republican leaders have said they will not attempt to pressure members to vote a certain way on Syria since they consider the vote to be a matter of conscience.
“They've said clearly and privately as well, ‘this is a vote of conscience and this is where we stand and we hope you'll follow us, but we are not whipping members to fall in line in any way,’” he explained. “Everyone sees any act of war — any use of military force — as a very difficult decision and they're letting members at this point ride with their own decision.”
He believes that U.S. military intervention based on the Aug. 21 presumed chemical attack by President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime would send the wrong message to the world.
“This is a mistake and the credibility America's lost over the last five years can't be restored with two days of politically correct missile strikes whose message to Assad appears to me, feel free to keep killing innocent Syrians, just don't use poison gas to do it,” according to Brady.
Brady, who chairs, the Joint Economic Committee, also tells Newsmax that he favors tying any continuing resolution to fund the government to a definitive timetable for tax reform.
“There's real opportunity not only to push a time table for tax reform but finally start the first steps on how we save Medicare and Social Security for the long run,” he said. “That's really — besides the cuts that have been made — the biggest steps we can take would be how we tackle those really important issues.”
He said Republicans plan to use the upcoming debate to raise the debt ceiling to win additional spending cuts.
“And between the C.R. (Continuing Resolution) and the debt ceiling, there's two real opportunities to address the size and the power and the scope of this government,” he said. “The right size is back down into something that's actually sustainable. These are two tremendous opportunities that we can't let go past.”
He also predicted that there will be more calls to shut down the government to defund Obamacare.
“There is such a strong feeling, especially among the middle class small business, that Obamacare has to be stopped,” he added. “And whether it is through the defunding effort which is critical, or through moving IRS out of our healthcare, or simply delaying the worker mandate which also is key, every effort to slow or stop or delay this is critical.”
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