Following the President's speech Wednesday evening, legislators from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa offered their comments.
Here are their statements:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin: “It was important for the President to lay out clearly the nature of the threat to American interests and how we are going to work with a broad coalition of international partners, including Arab partners in the immediate region, and the Iraqi government to deal with this threat before it grows.
“ISIL is a group of barbaric terrorists who represent a threat to American personnel and interests in Iraq, and to the stability of Iraq and the region. So I do support using American leadership to help build an international coalition that both provides military assistance to confront this terrorist threat and helps build an inclusive and unified Iraqi government that has the capacity to be a strong partner in counterterrorism efforts against ISIL.
“I was pleased to hear the President say there will not be American combat troops on foreign soil, but I remain concerned about the potential for open-ended U.S. military engagement in the Middle East. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past so it's important for the Administration to work with Congress as a partner and to set clear goals and benchmarks of success for American engagement in this mission.”
“ISIL is a barbaric terrorist group, and I agree with the President that we need to degrade and ultimately destroy them,” said Sen. Al Franken. “Tomorrow, the Senate will be briefed by national security officials, and I plan to ask them a number of questions. I want to find out more about the potential ramifications of these actions on the civil war in Syria, for more specifics about the coalition the administration intends to build, and about their ongoing efforts to stifle terrorist recruitment activities in Minnesota and around the country.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley: “The President has been operating from a leadership deficit on how to deal with this threat. That's left a lot of uncertainty among the American people, as they see the ruthless acts of terror carried out by these extremists. The message from the President has to be that the United States will protect American citizens and help U.S. allies against a terrorist threat. The United States has to help our friends and partners in the region fight off ISIS. The President needs to secure the support of the American people with a clear strategy on how the ISIS threat will be degraded and destroyed. The time for delay and indecision has passed. I look forward to more details in the coming days on the U.S. strategy to eliminate this terrorist threat.”