Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday it's Congress’ responsibility to support the president in matters of war and peace — in this case, military intervention in Syria.
“I’ve supported every president that I’ve served under for the last 23 years when it comes to the use of military force,” the Ohio Republican told reporters. “And there’s one person who speaks for the United States of America when it comes to foreign policy, and that’s the president of the United States. So I think it’s critically important that [when] the president goes out on behalf of the American people, members of Congress do everything they can to be supportive of him.
“Now I realize that a lot of mistakes have been made when it comes to this issue of Syria over the last few years, and frankly I understand how war-weary the American people are,” Boehner continued. “But having said all that, I believe it is important to try to help the president provide a unified front in our effort to make it clear that the use of chemical weapons is clearly unacceptable.”
Boehner, whose conference is at this point predominantly opposed to U.S. strikes, also said on Tuesday that he was “skeptical” of news that Russia was prepared to facilitate Syria’s surrender of chemical weapons stockpiles to avert the use of force.
“Clearly diplomacy is always a better outcome than military action. But I will say that I’m somewhat skeptical of those that are involved in the diplomatic discussions today,” Boehner said. “I’m skeptical of it because of the actors that are involved.”