Rep. Joe Heck (NV-03) spoke on the House floor in opposition to arming members of the Free Syrian Army. The transcript of the remarks are below:
Thank you, I thank the Chair for the time.
Over the course of the debate for the past 2 days I think one thing most will agree on is that ISIL poses a clear and grave danger to our nation, our interests abroad, and our allies.
And I agree with the President when he stated that we must degrade and destroy ISIL no matter where they exist.
And I support many of the provisions that he outlined in the speech he gave just last week: arming the Peshmerga, bolstering the Iraqi security forces, expanding air strikes, and disrupting the flow of finances and foreign fighters to ISIL.
But the one thing I cannot support, the one thing I will not support, is arming the so-called moderate opposition force, the free Syrian army.
It’s a rag tag collection of 100 disparate groups that just a little more than a month ago the President stated that the notion of arming the rebels, comprised of pharmacists, doctors, and farmers, would make a difference as [quote] always been a fantasy [end quote].
The Free Syrian army has no cogent leadership, no organization, no command and control, and without U.S. military advisors embedded with the forces that we train and send back into Syria we will have no visibility on their effectiveness, their defections, whether or not our weapons are falling into the hands of our enemies.
This is a plan that is destined to fail for the sake of saying we did something, and that I cannot support. I yield back the balance of my time.