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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 11:01 AM 

Wis. House delegation remains skeptical on Syria

Following President Obama's address to the nation on Syria Tuesday evening -- and his call to postpone votes on military intervention amid hopes for a diplomatic solution to its use of chemical weapons -- Wisconsin members of the House of Representatives remained skeptical on the administration's plans.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, said he could not support the president's "ill-conceived, half-hearted proposal," saying a "feckless show of force" in Syria would only further erode the country's credibility.

"After making the case for a firm, rapid response, President Obama has called for an indefinite delay," Ryan said. "He lacks a clear strategy, and now he's following Russia's lead."

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, said in a statement that, following the speech, he has "moved from 'no' to 'hell no!'"

Dems Gwen Moore and Ron Kind, meanwhile, said they remained undecided. Moore, of Milwaukee, praised the president's call to postpone a vote.

"I am pleased that President Obama has chosen to give the Syrian regime an opportunity to relinquish its chemical weaponry," Moore said. "It is my hope that we are able to positively impact the Syrian crisis through diplomatic channels."

"It looks like there is hope that the use of American military force can be avoided," added Kind, of La Crosse. "I believe, however, that the credible use of force is the only reason that Russia and Syria have now come to the negotiating table."

Prior to the president's speech, U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, announced his opposition to military intervention following a breifing by the president's national security team.

"I do not believe it is in America’s national security interest to take military measures against Syria even given the atrocities committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people," Ribble said.

U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, and Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, had previously indicated their opposition to the use of military force.


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