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Mo. Congressman Luetkemeyer Speaks Out On Syria And Budget

Missouri U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer,a Republican, is blasting the Obama Administration for the way it's handled the crisis in Syria.

Luetkemeyer spoke Monday before a small group of business leaders in Jefferson City. He told them that Syrian officials used chemical weapons against their own people because they fear no repercussions from the U.S.

"Our credibility is already zero, as far as I'm concerned, around the world," Luetkemeyer said, "because if the Syrians felt that they were going to be retaliated against by the Administration, they would have never done it to begin with."

Luetkemeyer also accused President Obama of surrendering leadership on the world stage to Russia, and that as a result the world is becoming "a less safe place."

He also told the crowd that lawmakers in Washington are nowhere near an agreement on next year's federal budget, even though the new fiscal year begins next month. He said the Republican-led U.S. House and Democratic-led U.S. Senate are so far apart that neither side has bothered to appoint negotiators.

"There's a lot of discussion about what to hook onto (the federal budget), what not to hook onto it, what to do, what not to do," Luetkemeyer said. "There is also the debt limit situation which we bump up against here shortly, and there again is the situation of what do you do?  Do you tack something on, do you not tack something on?"

Luetkemeyer said Congress will likely have to pass a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running through mid-December.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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