Posted at: 09/02/2013 5:23 PM
| Updated at: 09/02/2013 6:01 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
Paul Tonko (left) and Chris Gibson (right)
COLONIE -- An an annual Labor Day picnic that is organized by Capital District unions, political discussion is expected. And Monday, with guest of honor Congressman Paul Tonko, it's not surprising that a major talking point is Syria.
"I think it's important to understand that our troops are exhausted and that the American taxpayers are saturated with the price tags for these wars," explains Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam.
The third term Congressman would not say, definitively if he would vote against U.S. intervention but did indicate that is how he's leaning. Tonko is in the unenviable position of ignoring the wishes of fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama. Tonko doesn't believe the delay in action required by Congressional approval will prove dangerous.
"People will do their best to sort through the data, facts and intelligence to state their care and I look forward to that discussion."
Across the aisle from Tonko, Republican Chris Gibson expressed an almost identical opinion when asked, outside his district office in Columbia County, how the U.S. should proceed.
"If we bomb that country, is that gonna make it better or worse? In my judgement, and experience in both the military and now Congress I believe it will make it worse," believes Rep. Chris Gibson, R- Kinderhook.
The two Representatives acknowledged the tragedy and urgency of the situation in Syria but also both insist that waiting for Congressional authorization is a necessity.
"Work with warring factions and the stake holders in the region and continue to bring pressure including economic sanctions so we can bring about a peaceful resolution," added Gibson when asked how the U.S. should proceed if not with force.
Congress resumes in Washington next Monday, September 9th.