As fear of the Islamic extremist group ISIS continues to grow internationally, we spoke with several area congressmen about the issue on Wednesday.
With Congress in recess, Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Lou Barletta were both on home turf and acknowledged the need to stop ISIS.
What they don’t agree on is how they would do it.
Even with congress in recess, Democrat Congressman Matt Cartwright of Scranton and Republican Congressman Lou Barletta of Hazleton are still keeping busy.
Cartwright spent the afternoon with an Israeli general consul in Lackawanna County, while Lou Barletta honored veterans with long overdue awards in Luzerne County.
But these happy events didn’t stop them from having serious things on their minds, including the ISIS threat.
“They have made clear what their goal is. We also need to make it clear that we’re not going to just sit back and allow it to happen,” said Rep. Lou Barletta, (R) 11th District.
“The first reaction of course is horror. I mean what happened to James Foley and Steven Sotloff, like everybody else, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright, (D) 17th District.
With news of yet another beheading of an American journalist by ISIS in the Mideast comes the question of what to do next.
“This is the world we live in, and when someone threatens to come here to the United States to kill us, that’s an act of war,” Rep. Barletta said.
Because of that, Barletta says the U.S. should take action, form a plan quickly, and attack ISIS whether the U.S. is backed by other countries or not.
Cartwright supports using drones and airstrikes but admits he’s hesitant about putting boots on the ground.
“We’ve had so many young people come back with one leg. We’re sick of that, and those are things that we will paying for in this country for the next 60 or 70 years, so we can’t take decisions like that lightly,” Rep. Cartwright said.
Cartwright also said he’d want international support to attack ISIS on a united front.
Both say they’d be willing to return to Washington at a moment’s notice to work on a plan, but for now Congress is still in recess.