NY Congressman Answers Questions About Syria During Phone Town Hall

Sep 13, 2013

Credit Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

A New York congressman held a telephone town hall Thursday evening to hear from area residents about potential U.S. involvement in Syria. He also addressed other topics. 

It was Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s third such town hall since taking office in January, and the one with the greatest attendance, at 14,509. The majority of callers said they wanted no U.S. involvement in Syria, that they wanted political attention and federal dollars to stay in the U.S. And if the U.S. were to become involved in any way, most callers said such involvement needed the support of the international community. Maloney made this assurance at the outset.

President Obama this week asked Congressional leaders to postpone a vote authorizing the use of military force while attempting to pursue a diplomatic path in pushing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up chemical weapons.

Miriam from Brewster in Putnam County says the U.S. needs to take action against Assad.

Miriam agrees, but says something needs to be done.

There were three poll questions during the call. The first asked, “Would you support the President’s call for a limited military strike in Syria if diplomacy is not successful?” 64 percent responded they would not, with 18 percent saying they would, and 18 percent undecided.

Ida from New Windsor in Orange County voiced her concern about U.S. involvement in Syria.

Here’s part of Maloney’s response.

Neil from Middletown in Orange County voiced his concern about the Republican threat of a government shutdown over spending amid the U.S. spending $1 billion in Syria, for humanitarian aid. All this, he points out, while U.S. infrastructure is in dire need of repair.

Congressman Maloney answered by pointing out he sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and agrees that attention to infrastructure is sorely needed.

Peter from Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County asked where the congressman stood on immigration reform, saying he had not heard much from Maloney on this issue. Maloney responded that he supports the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate. Maloney also took questions about job creation and education.