NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - On Labor Day, there was no rest when it came to the crisis in Syria.
President Obama was fresh out of a meeting in Washington, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. During a conference call, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top officials briefed House Democrats on the evolving situation in Syria.
Local Congressman Bobby Scott hosted his annual Labor Day picnic in Newport News, where he spoke with 10 On Your Side's Military Reporter Art Kohn about his position on the U.S.'s involvement with Syria.
Until the president announced his decision to ask for congressional approval for a military strike on Syria, Scott said little about the ongoing crisis. Scott has consistently supported the President on many matters concerning the budget, but remains undecided about the President's plan to punish the Assad Regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
In fact, there are several matters that concern Scott before he is willing to vote in favor of a U.S. strike on Syria.
There is no doubt at the White House or inside the State Department that the Assad regime used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 men women and children on August 21.
"Hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of Sarin. So this case is building and this case will build,” Secretary Kerry said.
Although the Congressman does admit the evidence is mounting against the Assad regime, he believes President Obama needs to answer questions dealing with more than the use of chemical weapons.
"The proof of the use of chemical weapons is still ongoing. The United Nations hasn't taken its position yet,’ said Scott Monday. "We have to decide what is in our national interest and whether or not American citizens will be more or less at risk if we attack somebody."
Congressman Scott worries about what he called an asymmetrical response by Syrian President Assad.
"We attack with bombs, and he attacks with a terrorist attack somewhere in the world or even in the United states. Then what do we do? Are we in a full scale war? I don't know. There are a lot of things to consider,” he said.
The President has asked the American people to consider the consequences of doing nothing.
"What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?” The President asked the Nation Saturday.
If Assad does pay no price, Kerry said it would be an act of "moral obscenity.”
"There are other moral obscenities -- where do you draw the line? You have 1,400 people killed here, you had 100,000 in Rwanda -- we didn't do anything. You're a little selective,” Scott said.
Scott also believes the American response should be based on the world's commitment to holding Assad accountable for this atrocity.
"I mean, if you have an international violation, there ought to be an international response. If there's not, then we really need to consider what our response is,” Scott said.
Senator Tim Kaine was scheduled to attend, but cancelled all appearances so he could return to Washington for a meeting on Syria.
10 On Your Side is committed to bringing you the latest information regarding the crisis in Syria. Stay tuned to WAVY TV 10, WAVY.com and NBC news for any updates on this constantly evolving story.
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