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Washington Congressmembers Mostly Holding Their Fire on Syria Vote

Architect of the Capitol

Members of Congress from Washington state are mostly undecided ahead of an expected vote next week to authorize military force against Syria.

Indecision crosses party lines. Republican Congressman Dave Reichert did say in an emailed statement that it's right and proper for President Obama to seek Congressional approval. But he hasn't said how he'll vote.

Freshman Democrats Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer both say they want to carefully review the intelligence before making a decision.

"We cannot engage in military action based on faulty intelligence, the painful lesson of the War in Iraq," added Heck in a prepared statement.

Eastern Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted a one question survey on her official website asking constituents how she should vote.

Democrat Rick Larsen went on Facebook to solicit input. The responses so far on his page, hands down, "no war with Syria."

Congressman Jim McDermott has staked out the clearest position in the delegation. The veteran Democrat came out strongly against an air strike on Syria in remarks delivered at a Labor Day picnic in Seattle.

Southwest Washington Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler appears to be leaning against intervention. "Jaime is very skeptical that going to war with Syria is in our nation's best interest," wrote her press secretary Drew Griffin. "She is keeping an open mind and will listen to the case being made by the president in the coming days."

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.