The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said the United States should move with “all due speed” to see if a Russian-led diplomatic solution to the standoff over Syria’s possession of chemical weapons is a credible offer.
“I think that it is outstanding,” Rep. Marcia Fudge, Ohio Democrat, said of the diplomatic opening in an interview with CNN.
While President Obama plans to push his case to the American public late Tuesday for a military strike to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for an Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, officials in Syria said Tuesday they will accept Russia’s plan and put their chemical stockpiles into international control.
The White House and members of the Senate have indicated they will explore the diplomatic option, yet with a heavy dose of skepticism about Syria’s motives.
“So I’m hopeful, certainly, that this is something that will move forward,” Ms. Fudge told CNN.
Ms. Fudge said she had advised members of the caucus to limit their comments on the Syrian conflict because they should have a full stock of information about the situation before they weigh in. She does not have a vote count of where caucus members stand on a possible strike.
“We have not taken any kind of poll, no whip,” she said.
Ms. Fudge said there is still daylight for congressional authorization — even in the Republican-controlled House — since so many members are officially undecided about whether to punish Syria with military force.
“If [Mr. Obama] makes the case to the American public, I think that it is possible,” she said.