Here are responses to President Obama's statement Wednesday night about how the U.S. will react to the Islamic State:Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.): "The President's speech hit the nail right on the head. . . . He is choosing just the right weapons: air strikes in Iraq and Syria, surveillance, economic sanctions and coalition building, without boots on the ground. . . . I think the speech will be extremely well received in America and around the world."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): "It was very important for the President to speak directly to the American people tonight and outline his plan for degrading and destroying ISIL. . . . There is no doubt this challenge requires a multilateral, international approach -- a plan that involves not just America and NATO, but also the Arab and Muslim worlds."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford): "I support the President's overdue pledge to destroy ISIS in Iraq & Syria. It is unfortunate though that the President still talks about and tells ISIS what he won't do."
King's Democratic challenger, Patricia Maher: "Only through working with a coalition of our allies, targeted air strikes and special forces operations . . . will we ultimately defeat ISIL."
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton): "Our nation's commitment to destroying terrorist elements has never wavered since the September 11th attacks. . . . I am pleased the President's strategy compels an international coalition to share the burden and the risk of targeting ISIL."
Bishop's challenger, state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley): "President Obama may know how to win elections, but he is lost in the sauce trying to figure out the best move forward in defeating ISIS. . . . American leadership at its best would have been to identify the threat earlier, develop a plan earlier, specify the end goals earlier."
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington): "We need both a short-term and a long-term strategy to degrade, disrupt and destroy ISIL. . . . The President's strategy includes this, and I hope Congress will put politics aside and provide the necessary resources to train and equip our partners."
Israel's challenger, Republican Grant Lally: "President Obama has finally realized that action is required to deal with the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. . . . Unfortunately, what the President fails to recognize is that this is a multi-polar problem that requires more."
Democrat Kathleen Rice, Nassau's district attorney, who seeks to replace outgoing Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola): "This is a smart strategy to destroy ISIL wherever they are without committing American troops to another ground war in the Middle East. . . . Congress should put politics aside."
Rice's challenger, Republican businessman Bruce Blakeman: "The President needs to send a clear and unequivocal message to the country and the world that he is finally committed to taking the strongest possible action to defeat ISIS. . . . Then he must act."
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans), whose district includes parts of western Nassau and is unopposed: "Tonight, the President made an important speech. . . . I support President Obama's four-step plan to build upon our successes to diminish, degrade and destroy this unprecedented terrorist threat."