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September 15, 2014

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Heck officially opposes Obama on Syria strike

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Steve Marcus

Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) responds to a question during a town hall meeting with constituents at Pacific Pines Senior Apartments in Henderson Tuesday, Feb.19, 2013.

Nevada Rep. Joe Heck has not been shy about expressing his criticism and distaste for President Barack Obama’s Syria strike plan during interviews and appearances in the last week.

But Heck didn’t give his official no-way, no-how until just after the president finished making his speech to the nation tonight.

“On the question of the United States striking Syria, I am a no,” Heck said in a statement released Tuesday night.

Heck did not offer an assessment of “recent developments,” particularly a Russian-brokered proposal to have Syria turn its chemical weapons over to the international community, and sign onto the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria agreed to the terms this morning; it is now up to the United Nations Security Council to work out the finer points of the deal.

But Heck disputed many arguments Obama made in his Syria speech tonight.

“The use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is an especially heinous act that shows just how desperate the regime has become,” Heck said in the statement. “I am not convinced that Assad’s actions pose a direct and imminent threat to the national security of the United States, that clear and measurable objectives are in place for a military strike, or that the risks associated with a strike can be mitigated.”

At this point, only one member of the Nevada delegation — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — supports the strikes against Syria. Heck, Rep. Mark Amodei and Sen. Dean Heller — all Republicans — have spoken out against it, while Democratic Reps. Steven Horsford and Dina Titus have almost exclusively expressed skepticism about the strike plan.

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