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Montana reps reluctant to back Syria action


September 3, 2013

Montana's representatives in Congress praised President Barack Obama for seeking congressional approval before taking actions in Syria.

But all three were reluctant to say how they will vote when the measure to back limited strikes against Syria comes before them.

Obama Saturday made a forceful argument for limited strikes against the Syrian government for its use of chemical weapons, but said he would seek the OK of Congress before launching the strikes.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont ., said he was "carefully reviewing all intelligence and talking to Montanans before making any decisions."

Baucus was critical of Assad, calling his actions "reprehensible," but was skeptical of any military intervention.

Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont ., also was reluctant to back military action.

“I am glad to see the president agreeing to my request — and the demands of the American people — for congressional approval before any potential military action in Syria," he said.

"However, I do not want to put our country center stage into a conflict where the objective isn't clear, the outcome is uncertain and American lives are in jeopardy," he said in a release Saturday.

He said he needed to be "convinced that our national security is at risk."

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont ., said only that he thought Obama was right to go to Congress.

"I will carefully review the situation before making a decision on how I will vote,” Tester said.


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