Published On: Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

Jeff Flake on Syrian missile strike, Gorsuch filibuster and the refugee crisis

Talking with NPR’s Scott Simon, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake discussed the recent attacks against Syrian chemical weapons depots, the rebels and how the Trump administration should interact with Congress. Later he talked about the Senate vote for Justice Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and the overall refugee crisis.

” I don’t believe so,” Flake quickly responded when asked if President Trump should have sought Senate approval before attacking Syria.

“It’s tough to have a strike where you reserve the surprise that you need when you go for authorization. That’s why the Constitution allows, you know, and the War Powers Act allows the administration to act and then to come to Congress within 60 days if further action is needed.”

2011 cartoon by Carlos Latuff

Flake glossed over the reaction by the Assad regime and the consensus in the intelligence community before disagreeing with the Trump stance on immigration.

“I’ve been critical of the administration’s travel ban and the talk about keeping Syrian refugees out. I think that we have a responsibility to accept refugees, who we can’t assume that our allies will, but turn them away ourselves…”

“I’m certainly going to continue to encourage the administration to resume the acceptance of Syrian refugees, that we should be so lucky in this country if everyone who entered the country was screened and vetted as well as refugees. And it’s tough to see women and particularly children treated as they are in Syria and not want to help them.”

The SCOTUS vote on Gorsuch proved to be heated and divided with the Harry Reid Rule/nuclear option being used to put Gorsuch on the bench. Does Flake think that is regrettable?

“I think we’ll regret the entire last decade or so and what the Senate has become. You know, prior to 2003, I believe it was, nobody ever filibustered a new Supreme Court nominee nominated by a president. I happened to be in Washington in 1987 as an intern in the Senate and watched the Judge Bork hearings there. And as controversial as he was, not one senator – and it would have only taken one – filibustered. So what we’ve done is make du jour what was de facto prior to 2003. I hope it means that we can move ahead with more bipartisanship in the future.”

Check out the full transcript HERE

Neil Gorsuch

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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