President Barack Obama should not make an unilateral strike on Syria unless there's an immediate threat to the United States, Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas says.
If he does, Cuellar tells Newsmax, then Obama is embracing the same policies that he criticized President George W. Bush for when Obama was a senator.
"First of all, I find it interesting that the president, I think it was some years ago, said when President Bush was there he was saying that unless there is a immediate threat or danger to the United States, they need to consult and work with Congress and I find it interesting now he's taking the same approach that President Bush took at that time," Cuellar says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.
While the five-term congressman wants Obama to confer with Capitol Hill before acting against Syria he says that he "will support a limited strike, targeted, but with no troops to be sent over."
"We've had two wars that've cost us over $1.2 trillion, countless of lives, so we have to make sure we understand what the specific goals are in a limited strike, but at the same time, how do we look at the end game? How do we get out? Because I don't want to be involved in a long, long, long conflict."
Even though Cuellar does not think Obama should make a unilateral strike without congressional approval, he promises always to support the troops.
"I don't think it would be right for Congress not to support the men and women that are doing those strikes but again the president should heed his words that I think it was in 2008 when he spoke to the Boston Globe where he said that unless there is an immediate threat or danger to the United States, he should be working with Congress," the Texas lawmaker explains.
"There is not an immediate danger to the United States and he should follow his words that he gave President Bush."
As several countries are putting pressure on the Obama Administration to prove that it was indeed the Assad regime behind the chemical attacks, Cuellar says that it's another reason why the president needs to meet with Congress and make the case to the American people as to why the United States should get involved in the Syrian conflict.
"This is why he needs to consult Congress and talk to us so we as policy makers of the US Congress, that's why he needs to talk to us. He should convince the American public of that," says Cuellar, whose district stretches from the San Antonio suburbs to the Mexican border.
"I don't like the chemicals weapons being used. I don’t think that's right. But again, under the circumstances he should talk to us."
Syria is not the only issue that Cuellar is at odds with his own party's president. He also had harsh words to say about part of Obamacare.
He said he originally supported the Affordable Care Act but it has got bogged down by politics. " On one side, you've got Republicans that want to repeal the whole law. Then, on the other extreme, you've got Democrats that don't want to change one single word," he said.
"Quite honestly, both sides are wrong because there are some good things about the healthcare act but there are some things that we need to change, add, repeal, modify."
One of those that needs modification is the requirement that restaurants label the nutritional value of their foods., which he said is a "burdensome requirement that could affect job growth, especially for mom and pop delis and place s that rely chiefly on telephone orders such as a pizza restaurant.
"One size does not fit all businesses in the United States," he said.
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