News / USA

US Congressional Vote On Syria Faces Tough Road

US Congressional Vote On Syria Faces Tough Roadi
X
September 05, 2013 10:54 AM
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has begun considering whether to authorize U.S. military force against Syria in response to last month's chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people. Experts say estimates of how the 435 members of the House are likely to vote show that President Barack Obama may face his toughest legislative battle yet - and one with the highest stakes for U.S. credibility. VOA’s Cindy Saine has the story from Capitol Hill.
Cindy Saine
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has begun considering whether to authorize U.S. military force against Syria in response to last month's chemical attack that killed more than a thousand people.  Experts said estimates of how the 435 members of the House are likely to vote show that President Barack Obama may face his toughest legislative battle yet - and one with the highest stakes for U.S. credibility. 

Referring to the horrific images of the chemical weapons attack, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told committee members that the world is watching. “The world is not just watching to see what we decide here, but the world is really watching to see how we decide, frankly, whether or not we can still make or achieve a single voice speaking for the United States of America,” Kerry said.

The committee's ranking Democratic member, Congressman Eliot Engel, agreed. “The issue we confront today is much bigger than the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We are talking about the credibility of America as a global power,” he said.

But some members, including Republican Michael McCaul of Texas, voiced concern about authorizing military action because of the make-up of the Syrian rebels. “My concern is that any strike against this regime, as bad as it is, will empower these radical Islamists, these extremists, and we have seen this movie before,” he noted.

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said informal tallies of House members suggest that a resolution authorizing military force will be difficult, but not impossible, to pass.
"Presidents have a way of twisting arms and begging and pleading and promising right before a vote," he said. "And they often succeed narrowly.  But this is not, not, a foregone conclusion."

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said he will vote for the resolution, and called on members to join him.  But Boehner has faced repeated uprisings among his ranks.

"This is not party line government where the Republican leader of the House simply says vote this way and the rank and file do.  In fact, these days, whatever Boehner says, you can count on 30 or 40 House Republicans doing the exact opposite," stated Rothenberg.

Rothenberg said we are likely to see unexpected coalitions."This is one of those odd cases where you are going to have a very confusing coalition, with isolationist, libertarian Republicans joining very liberal Democrats who traditionally oppose additional spending on military and defense - those two groups coming together to oppose giving the president authority to strike Syria," he explained. "And you are going to have a mixture of Republicans and Democrats, many moderates, but also a handful of strong liberals and strong conservatives supporting the president."

The world will likely be watching when the full House and Senate return to the Capitol next week to focus on Syria.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 05, 2013 8:49 AM
Let'S wait and see. Whatever the US does is its headache. Obama started it wrongly by first going to the house instead of taking the right step first before going to the house. An American president is not expected to be one with inherent weakness; he is expected to be an intellect though, but this one lacks pragmatism. Is that what you call the audacity of hope?

Well I wonder what Martin Luther King (jr) or the Rev. Jesse Jackson would have done in this matter. They didn't have this to face - his luck. Being the first comes with challenges and how these challenges are met goes down in history to show the leverage of African-American clout with the intellect. To be intelligent is one thing, to use the intellect is another, and this is the determinant factor in being wise. So, any way the vote goes, it's all for the good of USA, none other. But the delay has already shown how much levity with which the US views rules that have not direct bearing on the US.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs