As you know, Syria is in the midst of a violent civil war. In the past two years, 100,000 people have been killed and another 2 million have been displaced. It's a terrible situation, and there are no easy solutions to the violence.
After what appears to be overwhelming evidence that over 1,400 civilians were killed by chemical weapons in Syria last month, President Obama called for American military intervention. I've spent a lot of time considering this issue. I've listened to hundreds of constituents who have concerns about American intervention and I've spoken to Syrians living in West Texas to get their perspective on the violence in their home country.
Today, I'll get a classified briefing from the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, National Security Advisor, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It's important to me to be fully informed before it comes time to vote.
Based on what I currently know, I'm not convinced that we should intervene. If I had to vote now, I would vote against any military action. I don't believe the President has given us any clear objectives for what military action should achieve, and I can't commit our men and women in uniform to a foreign conflict without a clear mission or end in sight.
I appreciate everyone who has shared their opinion with me and I'll continue listening and gathering information in an effort to make the most informed vote possible when this comes before the House of Representatives.
Remembering Those Lost on September 11
Today marks 12 years that have passed since our country was forever changed by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Today, 184 benches stand outside the Pentagon in silent tribute to all who lost their lives there.
In New York, the names of 2,753 victims surround reflecting pools that fill the space where the twin towers once stood.
Nearby, One World Trade Center has risen to become the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
And in Somerset County, Penn., a wall of names and a field of wildflowers mark where Flight 93 was heroically brought down.
We've spent more than a decade healing our wounds and rebuilding our country, but we still feel a deep loss.
This Sept. 11 also marks another sad anniversary: it's been one year since our consulate in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Today is a day to honor these losses, and to reflect on the fact that in our darkest moments, some of our greatest heroes have emerged.
Today is also a day to honor our strength. America is a nation founded on liberty and equality, and we value each human life as a unique blessing. I believe that these principles are stronger than those of any terrorist, and that the pursuit of freedom will always win out over those who try to defeat us.
Action Item: Reforming Insurance Licensing
On Tuesday, the House will vote on my bill to reform insurance licensing. H.R. 1155 will help small businesses and allow local insurance agents to expand their businesses to nearby states.
That will allow for more competition between insurance agents and brokers, which ultimately means more choices and better prices for consumers purchasing insurance policies.