Rep. Cooper: Tackle The Sequester Before We Tangle With Syria

Rep. Cooper, pictured above at a veterans' workshop last year, sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and has been reluctant to wade into conflicts abroad, saying the U.S. cannot police the rest of the world. (Image via Cooper's office / flickr)

Rep. Cooper, pictured above at a veterans’ workshop last year, sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and has been reluctant to wade into conflicts abroad, saying the U.S. cannot police the rest of the world. (Image via Cooper’s office / flickr)

Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper is making a stiff argument against U.S. intervention in Syria.  Cooper’s remarks are in contrast to Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, who said two weeks ago he’s “embarrassed” at how slowly American trucks and other equipment have reached Syrian rebels.

Cooper notes Corker’s role on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he’s pressed to help topple the Syrian regime.  But Cooper, himself a member of the House Armed Services Committee, issues a challenge: introduce a soldier who feels good about our military budget, and then we’ll discuss Syria.

“Well, you show me a way to pay for that, and show me a way to properly equip and train our troops, and then I’ll talk to you about that, but in the meantime, it sounds too easy to just say ‘Oh yeah, we’ll go do that,’ when we’re not funding that deployment of troops.”

Cooper did underscore one other point: fighting in Syria is no longer being waged using chemical weapons.

UPDATE: With Syrian rebels voting Monday to attend proposed peace talks sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, Rep. Cooper’s office said he’d hold to the above stance.  Sen. Corker’s office did not issue a statement right away.

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