U.S. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks on Syria involvement

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen attended classified briefing

MIAMI - U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was one of the members of congress who was in Sunday's meeting in Washington. She spoke out Sunday from Miami International Airport when she returned to South Florida.

The congresswoman said the power the president is asking for is far too broad and that she's not yet sold on the case for U.S. action in Syria.

Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the house foreign affairs committee, called on the president to call congress back for vote earlier than Sept. 9.

The republican said she'll meet with military officials again later this week.

"This open ended carte blanche is not the way to go," said Ros-Lehtinen. "We have to tighten this up and give only specific authority for the Commander-in-Chief to act."

Ros-Lehtinen had an about face of sorts after meeting with top military brass in Washington. She'd previously said the evidence on whether chemical weapons were used on the Syrian people is outstanding. However, she said Sunday's classified briefing did ease some of her concerns.

"I'm still making up my mind, but the evidence seems pretty compelling," Ros-Lehtinen said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want the administration to narrow the president's authority in Syria.

They want a guarantee of no U.S. troops on the ground and a time limit for military action.

"In Libya, it was a very costly operation, cost us millions of dollars. Every time we lob one of those its $1.5 million."

Short of saying the U.S. should remove the Syrian leader, the congresswoman said she's still skeptical of the value of U.S. military intervention in the mid-east nation.
Ros-Lehtinen said, "What we're in fact almost saying is, 'Al-Assad, you can continue to kill your people with bullets, but you just can't kill them with gas.'"

Copyright 2013 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.