With the option to attack Syria looming, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed wants to hear from his constituents.
The Corning Republican will be in Olean and Dunkirk Wednesday to hold listening sessions in order for his constituents to share their thoughts on the U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
"While we have had many constituents calling our offices with their thoughts on whether or not the U.S. should get involved in this civil war, I also want to hear people's thoughts in person," Reed said.
Although he has authority to carry out military action without congressional authorization as president, Barack Obama turned to Congress on Saturday, asking it to support a strike punishing Bashar Assad's regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
According to the Associated Press, Congress is scheduled to return from a summer vacation on Sept. 9, and in anticipation of the coming debate, Obama challenged lawmakers to consider "what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price."
Additionally, had he gone ahead with a military strike, Obama would have been the first president since President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to attack a foreign nation without broad international support or acting in direct defense of Americans. In 1983. Reagan ordered an invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada.
"The president sent his resolution to Congress just yesterday," Reed said Sunday. "While this is short notice, I hope that people will be able to stop by. Of course, all of our offices will continue to receive calls of those who cannot make one of the listening sessions."
Tuesday, Reed was in Big Flats, Owego and Geneva holding listening sessions. Wednesday morning, he will be at Hornell at 10 a.m. before traveling to Olean and Dunkirk.
Reed will be at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College at noon, in the Magnano Reception Room. Additionally, He will be at Dunkirk City Hall, located at 342 Central Avenue, at 3 p.m.
Residents are also encouraged to contract Reed through his website at www.reed.house.gov.