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September 10, 2013

Local U.S. reps oppose action against Syria

JOHNSTOWN — Both local members of the U.S. House of Representatives oppose military action in Syria.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, and U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, announced their stances on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve military action in the country after Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly used chemical weapons in his nation’s ongoing internal conflict.

“With all the evidence at hand, it is not in our national interest to become embroiled in Syria’s messy civil war,” said Shuster, the 9th district’s representative. “While I strongly condemn Assad’s use of chemical weapons, I do not support a military intervention in Syria. I will vote no on the resolution authorizing the president to use force in Syria.”

He feels the objectives and effectiveness of a strike against Syria are “unclear and uncertain.”

Rothfus, representative of the 12th district, said he wants “war criminals” held accountable, but still does not believe the United States should become involved in the war.

“Based on the information provided to date, I intend to oppose the resolution,” Rothfus said. “I will, however, continue to attend the briefings, review the documents, confer with my colleagues and listen to my constituents as the House prepares to vote on military action in Syria.”

Rothfus met with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday where the congressman “expressed my reservations about military action.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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