GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Sen. Debbie Stabenow will be among the members of Congress considering a U.S. attack on Syria next week.
A civil war involving rebels and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has raged in Syria for years, killing tens of thousands. Now, the U.S. government says there is clear evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own citizens - civilians.
The situation in Syria can not be over stated in terms of its international implications. Russia is warning against action and is, along with other countries, watching closely. The United States -- chiefly President Barack Obama -- has already laid out a plan and declared that the U. S. should strike in retaliation for the chemical attack.
Stabenow, a Democrat, opposed the war in Iraq and stands by that decision. In Grand Rapids Wednesday, she said she is skeptical of military activity in Syria, but also that the brutality shown by a chemical attack cannot be tolerated.
Michigan's junior senator said she may be able to support a plan that is narrowly focused, keeps troops out of Syria and has a definite timeline.
Congress could vote as early as next week. The president is likely to get what he wants in the upper chamber. In the House, the vote will likely be closer.
That could create even more animosity in Washington, where budget battles and debt ceiling limits loom large even without the specter of another foreign military incursion.
Meanwhile, several U.S. Navy ships -- including several destroyers capable of guided missile strikes, an aircraft carrier and at least one submarine -- wait in the Mediterranean and Red seas for orders.
A bill before the House would hold back third-grade students who are not proficient in reading.
Power lines blocked busy 28th Street near the Grand Rapids-Kentwood border Monday evening.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela will be honored Tuesday morning with a public memorial service expected to be viewed by people around the world.