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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs