ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - While Congress waits to vote on military intervention in Syria, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall is continuing to make national headlines for being against the idea.
Udall was the only Democrat on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Subcommittee to vote against the resolution to authorize strikes in Syria. He says it’s a decision he's not backing down from.
The senator made it clear to Secretary of State John Kerry in the hearing last week that he would rather see pressure put on the United Nations to hold Syria accountable for chemical weapon use, rather than the U.S. going after the country alone.
“What we've done here with Russia and China holding up the ability of the U.N. to act, we've just turned aside,” said Udall. “We should be standing up!”
Making a stop in Albuquerque on Saturday, Udall said he stands by his decision.
“It's clear to me that we don't want to get embroiled in another civil war,” said Udall. “I don't think lobbing in a couple tomahawk missiles is the way to go.”
In discussion with constituents, the senator says he’s heard consistent opposition to a strike in Syria. He says he’s pushing President Barack Obama to work toward a diplomatic approach. In addition to calling for international military action, he's also calling for stronger sanctions against Syria.
“We've in fact put stronger sanctions on Iran and North Korea than we have on Syria,” Udall said.
Still, the senator says what's happening in Syria is wrong..
“You know, all of the world has gone on record against gassing your own citizens,” he said.
However, he says the U.S. needs to take on the countries standing in the way of international action.
“We're going to have to take on Russia. Russia is the one country that's really holding us from acting in a collective way and so we're going to have to take them on and embarrass them and shame them,” Udall said.
Alongside Udall, fellow Sen. Martin Heinrich says he's against the current Syrian strike resolution. In the house, only Republican Congressman Steve Pearce has weighed in, saying intervention would be “wrong.”
While the roads were looking clearer Friday morning in the Albuquerque area, appearances can be deceiving
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