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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 3:43 PM 

Wis. delegation waits to hear case on Syria

Members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation have largely praised the president's decision to seek congressional approval of military action in Syria, but most are still waiting to hear the Obama administration's arguments on the matter before deciding how to vote.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, said in a statement today that the president "has some work to do to recover from his grave missteps in Syria."

"He needs to clearly demonstrate that the use of military force would strengthen America's security," Ryan said. "I want to hear his case to Congress and to the American people."

Fellow GOP Congressmen Reid Ribble of Sherwood and Tom Petri of Fond du Lac lauded the president's consultation of Congress, but in posts to their respective Facebook pages over the weekend, neither indicated their position on military intervention. Petri wrote that he would "be carefully reviewing what (the president) puts forward."

The state's senators have also not indicated which way they will vote. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said in a statement that the president must explain Syria's danger to national security "and how his plan would reduce it." U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said in a statement that her judgment "on any military action in response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons will be based on whether clear, focused and achievable objectives and goals are set."

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, called the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons "a direct violation of human rights and a threat to our international peace," saying she looks foward to "a comprehensive and productive debate on whether the United States should take military action."

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, also put himself in the "undecided category" while speaking with the La Crosse Tribune, saying he would like to see a "national intelligence assessment of the likely response if we send cruise missiles into the region."

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said following a classified briefing over the weekend that, "I am still not convinced that there is a compelling national security interest that necessitates a military response, solely or largely born by the United States."

"We need to engage the international community to find the appropriate response to the use of chemical weapons, and to do so will require a much broader discussion with all proper options given full consideration," Pocan said. "The use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable, but this is an issue that is best addressed by the international community."


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