Congress is back on the job today on this, Day 8 of our whip count on the authorization of the use of military force in Congress. We’re launching a new Senate whip count page in response to popular demand, and here are our current totals for both houses of Congress:
Senate Whip Count on Syria
House Whip Count on Syria
In response to John Kerry’s assertion that support was “growing,” I put together a chart that visualizes what I’m seeing checking the statements of 433 members of the House every day for the past week:
With senior Democratic House leadership loyalists like Henry Waxman saying he will vote no, it looks increasingly like nobody anticipates a vote happening in the House, despite the President having called for one.
As always, I’ll be updating news and totals here throughout the day.
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) firm nay: “I will  vote against a resolution that authorizes the use of military force in Syria. I will also strongly urge my colleagues to do the same.”
Update 11:54 PM: “In a surprise move, Russia promised Monday to push its ally Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes.” — Associated Press
Update 12:30 PM: Senate sources say that John Kerry’s comments this morning about an “unbelievably small” planned attack on Syria have “lost them every undecided Republican in the Senate,” and the vote may be pulled.
“Even Democratic loyalists like Barbara Boxer can’t afford to have a 35-65 vote on their record.”
Update 1:21 PM: And like clockwork, Lamar Alexander comes out as a firm nay:
The Tennessee lawmaker said on Monday that a strike carries too much risk and could set off a series of events leading to greater U.S. involvement in another long-term Mideast war. He warned about the uncertainty in agreeing to President Barack Obama’s request for military intervention after last month’s deadly chemical weapons attack.
I think that accepting the Joe Manchin proposal to get Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to the international community with the help of the Russians would be a big win for the Syrian people, who are ostensibly ones we’re trying to help. Which would make it a big win for everyone involved, including Obama.
We’ll see how this goes over the next 24 hours. But look for more members of the Senate to come out as no votes today.
Update 1:52 PM: CNN says Harry Reid will speak in the next hour on Syria.
Update 2:03 PM: Alan Grayson supports Russian/chemical weapons proposal to avoid military strikes.
Reid speaking now in the Senate.
Update 2:31 PM: Senator Dan Coates (R-IN) excoriating John Kerry’s “unbelievably small” comment on Senate floor now.
Interesting — McConnell usually goes after Reid. He’s been incredibly silent on Syria vote. No way he can vote for it with a reelection in 2014, but he’s been pretty crafty about not taking a stance.
Senator Roy Blount (R-MO) says he is a no vote on Syria
Update 3:23 PM: Ban Ki-Moon giving press conference now (on C-SPAN2 during quorum call), saying he supports moving chemical weapons in Syria to safe places where they can be destroyed.
3:45 PM: Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Waiting to hear from the international community. When will they come out and support the “moderate” opposition? Worried about the risk of doing nothing. Supports the President’s plan for “targeted limited military action” in response to the “horrific, grim and ghoulish use” of chemical weapons.
She also invoked the ol’ Iraq AUMF warhorse: “I’m not casting my vote for war, just giving the President the authority to do what he feels best.” Knows her constituents oppose this. O-kay.
3:55 PM: Sources say Democratic leadership expects no vote in the House on Syria this week (#DUH)
Hillary Clinton: Syria weapons handover an “important step.”
4:00 PM: Sen. Dick Durbin up next to walk the plank in the Senate. Giving a history lesson on WWI and the use of chemical weapons. With pictures.
For reasons unknown, the White House asked Hillary Clinton to call Chuck Schumer on Syria this weekend. Schumer as already a yes vote. I get why they would ask her to call Mark Pryor who came out as opposed last week, but why would they ask her to call Schumer unless he was wobbly?
But back to Durbin. He says he hopes we can find a diplomatic solution to the Syria situation. President called him in the middle of the night. Says the bill strictly prohibits use of “boots on the ground” (most feel it doesn’t).
Durbin “takes very seriously the President’s promise he will not put boots on the ground.” (Wait — I thought the bill prohibited that?) Says again we should pursue diplomatic options.
4:22: Sen Chris Murphy (D-CT) speaking now — about gun control. (It was weird when he came to the floor because he’s ostensibly against the war, and that ain’t the message the Dems are putting up there at the moment.)
4:50: Bob Corker (R-TN) says he’s “dismayed” we have not supported the “vetted opposition” (read: Al Qada) before now. Supports the President when he draws a red line. Supports the authorization.
5:07: Senate moves to consider judiciary nominations.
5:34: Ben Cardin (D-MD) tweets that although he voted for attacking Syria in committee but now “I have concerns about action, right now we need to deal with
#Syria via diplomacy if possible.” Moving him to undecided because it sounds like he wouldn’t support a vote if it was taken this week.
6:02: Johnny Isakson (R-GA) goes from undecided to firm nay, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Everyone was watching the Senators from the defense contractor states as the canaries in the coal mine. If guys like Shelby, Isakson, Sessions et al started going against, it would be taken as a sign that it was all over.
6:26: Majority Leader Harry Reid did not file cloture today, which means there will not be a vote on Wednesday in the Senate.
8:06: It feels like carrying coals to Newcastle, but Jared Polis (D-CO) says he’ll vote against action in Syria. Pretty safe now that nobody thinks there will be a House vote.