BPR140923SEG2MP3_3.mp3

Boston Public Radio’s Jim Braude and Magery Eagan spoke to both Congressman Michael Capuano (7th district) and Stephen Lynch (8th district) about their opposing votes on Obama's plan to arm moderate Syrian rebels. Representative Lynch was one of two members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation who voted in favor of Obama’s proposal, Congressman Capuano joined the rest of the delegation in voting against the request for authorization.

"I’m not convinced there is anything we can do, short of putting U.S. troops on the ground, to really control the situation, and I am not willing to do that at this time," Capuano said. He cited timeframe and history as key reasons for his no vote, reasoning that training and arming rebel forces would have "very little impact on the immediate needs" in addressing the ISIS question. Beyond that, he says, "people have forgotten that we spent upwards of 25 billion dollars training the Iraqi army, and that didn’t work out too well." He says he is open to suggestions, but hesitant to commit funds until plans are more fleshed out.

Congressman Stephen Lynch hopes to capitalize on the investment in the Iraqui army. Drawing on his 15 trips to Iraq, and experience overseeing the training of the 938,00 Iraqi forces, he feels that training Syrians to assist those forces is a logical response. Like Capuano, Lynch noted that the vote “in no way authorized the President to use ground troops.”