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Chaffetz tells Biden he'll keep an open mind on Syria

Published September 10, 2013 11:20 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Rep. Jason Chaffetz was one of nine House Republicans who met with Vice President Joe Biden early Tuesday, just a small part of the administration's wide-ranging campaign to convince a skeptical Congress to support its strategy on Syria.

Biden spent 90 minutes with the members, who ranged from supportive of a plan for a limited military strike to those who think it would be a mistake.

Chaffetz remains opposed to hitting Syria in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in its civil war.

"Kudos to the vice president for inviting me to the meeting. I have no idea why I was invited, but I'm glad I was," Chaffetz told The Salt Lake Tribune after leaving the White House. "I haven't changed my position. He didn't ask me to. But he did ask me to keep an open mind and I assured him I would."

All four of Utah's House members are opposed to a resolution authorizing the use of force, as is Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is still undecided.

President Barack Obama will make the case to the nation this evening in a televised address that will take place at 7 p.m. Mountain time.