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Where they stand on Syria
Geneva, N.Y. - Lawmakers representing Western New York will vote next week on a resolution to use military force in Syria. Several have already made up their minds.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, will support the resolution. Congressman Tom Reed, a Republican, will oppose it.
"Going into Syria is the wrong policy call," Reed said. "I'm voting no on the resolution."
Reed is making a six city swing to explain his reasoning to voters and to hear about their concerns. Syria might be a world away, yet several of the people who gathered at the Geneva fire hall Tuesday afternoon have a personal stake in what happens there.
One man has cousins who live there and are part of the Christian minority. Another man has a son and daughter in military service. The two men are on opposite sides on this issue.
'To be an American is to be humane and you are looking out for other people," said the parent of the service man and woman. "If you've got one hundred thousand people being killed by a dozen people you should be doing something about it."
"Limited strikes, targets, it's not going to accomplish that much because he's still going to be in power. That's the tough decision," said the man with family in the country.
"I just see the risk and peril that's associated with acting," said Tom Reed. "To go in there with limited air strikes has so many risks and could destabilize the area and lead to more chemical weapons being used."
US Senator Chuck Schumer was also in Rochester Tuesday. The democrat says he will be briefed on the resolution in Washington Wednesday but says he supports a strike as long as it contains a time line and more specifics.
"It doesn't have any provisions about troops on the ground," said Schumer. "It doesn't prohibit that right now and I can't see it passing congress."
Yet some who are opposed to a strike say limiting it even further is not an answer. At the Geneva town hall meeting a man who identified himself as a marine said "If we're going to do something, let's finish the job and finish it right. I'm a Vietnam veteran. We should have finished that and finished it right."
13 WHAM News reached out to Congressmen Dan Maffei and Louse Slaughter about how they will vote on next week's resolution. We did not receive a response.