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Maffei: non-military solution to Syrian crisis is preferable

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei in one of many congressmen who has received a classified military briefing this week regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria. President Barack Obama had asked Congress to vote to authorize a military strike against Syria, but then asked congressional leaders to put the vote on hold while diplomatic discussions about securing Syria's chemical weapons continue.

Maffei, at an event in Syracuse Friday, says he believes the Obama administration is working hard to diffuse the situation. And the Democrat says there is no question a non-military solution to the crisis is preferable.

But, he says it is still possible that the president would ask Congress to vote on military action -- and he's not sure what position he would take.

"It's a little bit too early to say yes or no on that,” said Maffei. “But I, like my constituents I think, share a healthy skepticism of not whether somebody has done something wrong, in this case [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad using chemical weapons, but whether military action will lead to a better outcome than the current situation."

Other area congressman including Richard Hanna and Bill Owens have also said postponing the congressional vote on military action is the right thing to do.