Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) issued the following statement announcing his opposition to using military force in Syria:
“Today, I attended a classified briefing to listen very carefully to top Administration officials make their case in person. They did not persuade me that the United States has a clear or achievable objective in Syria that can only be obtained through military force.
"And they have not made the case that dragging America into a civil war in the Middle East is in our national security interests. Absent a direct threat to the United States or our allies and a clear goal and definition of victory, I must oppose using military force in Syria.
“It is a very serious matter anytime the President asks Congress for the authority to use military force overseas. The situation in Syria is complex and dangerous, and what’s happened to innocent civilians there is a tragedy. From day one, though, the Administration has mishandled this situation. The President has not shown strong leadership in the region or on the world stage.
“The United States should work with the international community to continue to pressure the Assad regime through sanctions and other diplomatic means. And we should make it clear that a direct threat to the United States or our allies in the region will not be tolerated. But, at this time, I believe that using military force in Syria will make the situation in the Middle East worse, not better, and will not make our nation safer.”
Walden represents Eastern Oregon and is the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation. He joins Democrats Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader in opposing or leaning against backing a military strike.
Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are undecided.