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Mo. Congressman Luetkemeyer Speaks Out On Syria & Federal Budget

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) 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 (Obama) 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.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Copyright 2013 St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.
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