CINCINNATI -- Most members of Ohio's congressional delegation are balking at President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military action in Syria.
A survey by The Associated Press finds that both U.S. senators and most of the House members from Ohio say they are undecided on whether to authorize military force. Two Republican congressmen have said they would vote against it at this point, and several others are leaning against it.
The only delegation member to voice support so far for limited military action against Syria has been House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, who said it would warn U.S. enemies around the world that "this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated." The president says a strike against the Syrian government is warranted for deadly chemical weapons attacks, which that government blames on rebels trying to overthrow the Assad leadership.
First-term Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Cincinnati is an Army Reserve officer and Iraq war veteran who says the president hasn't clearly made his case.
"This is about American lives being put into danger," Wenstrup said. "He (Obama) hasn't spelled things out in the way I would like to see. I also want to know what this has to do with U.S. national security."
Rep. Jim Renacci, Republican from Wadsworth, says he is against U.S. intervention, saying he fears military strikes might help some rebel groups that include radical Islamists.
"The president has shown a shocking lack of leadership to this point, even before he punted the issue to Congress," Renacci said in a statement.
Ohio's Republican U.S. senator canceled a trip to New Hampshire to be in Washington on Friday for classified briefings on Syria. Rob Portman, of suburban Cincinnati, said he was undecided."I am looking forward to learning more about the situation directly from the administration and our military leadership," he said.
Ohio's Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland also hasn't decided on the Syria vote.
Associated Press writers Ann Sanner in Columbus, John Seewer in Toledo and Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland contributed to this report.
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