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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid