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State lawmakers applaud Obama

WASHINGTON — Connecticut members of the House and Senate embraced President Obama’s decision to pursue a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis amid expressions of relief that Congress has delayed planned votes on the use of military force against the regime of Bashar Assad.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Greenwich, who has expressed opposition to the use of military force, issued a statement Tuesday night, Sept. 10, confirming that view. ”I remain deeply skeptical that a military attack will improve the situation on the ground, quiet the conflict, or improve our national security,” he said.

Another opponent of a military strike, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters after the speech that he believed that the ”risks of military intervention still outweigh the potential benefits to the United States,” but he acknowledged that it was a ”close call.” Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted against a resolution authorizing a military strike,

Murphy also said he ”has never seen the people of Connecticut as plugged into an issue” as they are to the Syrian situation.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., indicated in a statement that he was tilting against a military option and criticized the pending Senate resolution as ”too broadly written,” lacking international support and ”risks entangling us in Syria’s protracted civil war.”

Two House members — Reps. Elizabeth Esty, D-Cheshire, and Rosa DeLauro, D-New Haven — said they continue to be undecided about a military strike.

Rep. John B. Larson, D-East Hartford, applauded Obama for seeking a ”diplomatic and international answer to the problems in Syria.”

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