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Wisconsin Lawmakers React to President's Speech

President Obama's goal in Tuesday's speech: update the American public on the facts and win Congressional support for a military strike if indeed necessary. However much has changed since the President first announced his prime-time address to the nation regarding Syria.

WISCONSIN (WFRV) - President Obama's goal in Tuesday's speech: update the American public on the facts and win congressional support for a military strike if indeed necessary.  However much has changed since the President first announced his prime-time address to the nation regarding Syria. Specifically - the tone of the stand-off and based on reaction from Wisconsin's congressional delegation to the speech - it is making the President's job that much tougher.

As we told you earlier, negotiations are now underway on a Russian brokered deal with Syria, aimed at persuading Syria to surrender their chemical weapons.  This was not the case just a few days ago, when the President came to Congress to win its approval for a military strike against that country.   

With Syrian President Assad announcing he will turn over chemical weapons to Russia, support for a military strike within Congress is dwindling. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says despite all she has learned in security briefings; she simply cannot support any military action right now. 

"I strongly believe that our response to this situation must not be a unilateral military action," Sen. Baldwin said. "This is not America's responsibility alone and it is not in our interest to set the precedent - which it is our responsibility alone." 

With support eroding, President Obama announced Tuesday he has asked Congress to delay the vote on military action and instead - focus on the diplomatic solution proposed by Russia.  That is one course of action, many lawmakers from northeast Wisconsin support wholeheartedly.

"Having the Russians involved - where they will agree to dismantle those weapons and if we can get verification in process, making sure to be verifying these weapons are destroyed - I think is probably the best result we can expect," Congressman Reid Ribble said. 

"It's difficult for any President to commit to military action, when he doesn't have the backing of the American people, and it's very obvious that he has not convinced Americans - not up to this point," U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said. 

The President says Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his Russian counterpart on Thursday and he will maintain a dialogue with Russian President Putin.

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