Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid started forward momentum in Congress this weekend toward possible military intervention in Syria. The Democratic Senator from Nevada briefly reconvened his colleagues on Friday to file a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama’s desired military strikes in Syria. Congress was not set to resume until Monday.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee already approved a resolution on action last week; allowing it for up to 90 days but prohibiting boots-on-the-ground troops, which Obama had originally promised would not be required.
Three of the “Big Four” congressional leaders have come out in favor of the White House’s resolution: Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
The apparent unknown on the Hill is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell, facing a rocky bid at re-election in Kentucky, has gone on record after being briefed by the President on Tuesday (seen above) as saying, “Congress and our constituents would all benefit from knowing more about what it is he thinks needs to be done—and can be accomplished—in Syria and the region.” The Kentucky Senator is being fired upon himself for not having come out on one side or the other of the debate; the Senator’s social media presence last posted on 5 September about Obamacare.
Next Wednesday—which will mark 21 days from the chemical attacks in Syria on 21 August—is the anticipated procedural vote on the issue and Reid is trying to bolster support among Democrats for the President’s plan; White House officials are frantically doing the same. In the Senate, 60 votes would be required to bypass any procedural hiccups.
When addressing indications that Representatives and Senators increasingly seem to be opposed to the President’s initiative, White House Chief of Staff, Denis R. McDonough said on Friday, “It’s too early to jump to any conclusions on where the House or the Senate is.”
Tuesday night is scheduled as Obama’s chance to make his case to the public. Polls still reveal that the majority of Americans are opposed to military strikes, albeit limited.
As per usual, a conglomeration of politicians, informed commentators and the peanut gallery are posting their opinions for all to see…
— CFR (@CFR_org) September 7, 2013
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) September 7, 2013
— John Cusack (@johncusack) September 7, 2013
— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) September 8, 2013
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) September 8, 2013
— Matthew Modine (@MatthewModine) September 8, 2013
Want to hear from the peace-mongering celebs you’re used to seeing pop up in times like these? Sean Penn and others have been notably silent on the topic. Don’t worry though, Madonna has raised her iconic voice amid the silence (or rather her Facebook); she opposes military intervention in Syria.
[Image via White House Official Blog.]