Here we are at Day 6 of our whip effort. This is where we stand:
Syria War Vote Count Sat Sept 7 2013
I’ll be listing the positions of individual House members below as I learn them. In the mean time, for your reading enjoyment, have a look at this piece from Greg Sargent which outlines how the White House plans to get a “yes vote” through the House on Syria.
I’m the first to call bs on the liberal kabuki going on, and view many of the Democratic nays and as well as those in radio silence as closet yeas. But the piece, sourced to Democratic “aides,” expect that Pelosi will deliver 120-130 Democratic votes, and they’re counting on the Republicans for 90-100 votes.
Politico echoes this:
Democrats are quick to try to deflect any questions about the politics of Democrats being forced to carry the resolution over the finish line — Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said it’s actually up to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to whip its membership in line.
If the expectation of the Democrats is that Republicans are going to carry this home, I think they’re likely to fail.
I added undecideds to the chart above. As you can see, there are only 39 Republicans undeclared at this point. Add that to the 15 Republican firm yea/lean yea votes and you only get 42. Which means Boehner is going to have to turn 50 or so nays to yeas in order to deliver 90-100 votes.
My guess is they Democrats are counting on AIPAC to make a big push and turn a lot of Republicans who now say they are opposed. But you don’t have to be the amazing Kreskin to see that if AIPAC really cared that much they would have been all over this from the get. The fact that they waited this long is going to be a big signal to Republicans that AIPAC doesn’t really care that much, and I imagine they’ll be hard pressed to turn 50 Republican votes.
AIPAC will probably be more successful in getting Democratic supporters to commit. And we’ll see a lot more Democrats commit to voting for the bill starting Monday when they’re back in session, and the whip team has the opportunity to isolate them and pick them off.
But like I said before, Pelosi will have to drop the pimp hand to deliver closer to 160-170 votes to make this pass. And if they Democratic whip operation is not planning on doing that, they’re not planning on winning, IMHO.
Pete Sessions (R-TX) who comes out as a firm nay: “Like most of my constituents, I also do not believe the president’s current plan is in the best interests of the American people or our national security.”
That leaves us with 241 nays, well past the majority of 217.
Mike Simpson (R-ID) lean nay: “Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho says he’s strongly leaning against it.”
Mike McCaul (R-TX) from lean nay to firm nay: “Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Thursday if the vote to strike Syria were held that day, he’d vote no.”
Mac Thornberry (R-TX) lean nay: “[Thornberry] says so far the president’s administration has not made a convincing argument supporting a U.S. attack.”
Tim Walberg (R-MI) firm nay: “Congressman Walberg says he would vote no on military strikes against Syria
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) from lean nay to lean yea: “A refusal to act in Syria after the president has set such a clear red line will be seen as a green light by the Iranian regime, who will see that we don’t have the will to back up our words.”
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) lean nay: “The ongoing civil war in Syria is heartbreaking, but I have great reservations about intervening in Syria.”
Update 1:11 PM: Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) says he will not vote for action in Syria per CNN. BIG defection.
The Hill says “Fears of wounding Obama weigh heavily on Democrats.”
Alan Grayson has an OpEd at the NYT: “On Syria Vote, Trust, but Verify.” Grayson says that members of Congress have only been shown “summaries” of the evidence about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and have been denied access to the underlying data:
Over the last week the administration has run a full-court press on Capitol Hill, lobbying members from both parties in both houses to vote in support of its plan to attack Syria. And yet we members are supposed to accept, without question, that the proponents of a strike on Syria have accurately depicted the underlying evidence, even though the proponents refuse to show any of it to us or to the American public.
EU members evidently has a lower bar of proof than Grayson, or they have been shown evidence that members of Congress have been denied. Earlier today they agreed that “chemical attack outside Damascus appears to have been the work of Syria’s regime, but that any potential military attack against it should wait for a U.N. inspectors’ report.”