The President’s speech last night sounded like it was the product of a speechwriter’s war, where everyone was so anxious to get their own digs in they lost sight of the fact that the parts didn’t really all fit together. But as we start Day 10 of our whip count, we’ll see if any members of Congress found it persuasive.
Meanwhile, the White House is working with John McCain and the so-called “gang of 8″ to draft a new bill that would give the Presient the authorization to use military force in Syria if diplomacy doesn’t work. (If you thought they were giving up, they’re most certainly not.)
Rep Darryl Issa (R-CA) goes from lean nay to firm nay: “Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., described himself on Monday evening as “a firm ‘no.’
Sen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) comes out as a firm nay: “I oppose authorizing military involvement in Syria’s civil war.”
Rep. Pete Roskam (R-IL) goes from lean nay to firm nay: “The House GOP chief deputy whip from suburban Wheaton tells The Associated Press he waited to make the decision until after a Monday evening classified security briefing with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.”
11:07 AM: Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from undecided to lean nay.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) from lean nay to firm nay.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) goes from undecided to firm nay.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WI) goes from lean nay to firm nay.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) goes from lean yea to firm nay.
11:42: John Hoeven (R-ND) goes from undecided to firm nay: “Hoeven said he is against any kind of military strike on Syria, which used chemical weapons on rebel forces last month, killing more than 1,400 near Damascus.”
Richard Shelby (R-AL) goes from lean nay to firm nay: “Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, emerged from a closed-door briefing with President Barack Obama today and said he will “firmly oppose” the resolution brought before the Senate calling for the use of American military force in Syria’s civil war.”
12:10: On the Senate floor Dianne Feinstein gives credit to the Russians for helping bring a diplomatic solution to the Syria situation.
DiFi says that the intelligence confirming Syrian responsibility for the chemical weapons attack includes the fact that Syrian chemical weapons people were on site where the sarin gas was mixed.
Says the Senate may still pass a bill authorizing the use of force because the threat has been important in bringing Syria to the table.
If these attempts at diplomacy fail we may be back here on the floor of the Senate to pass an authorization for the use of military force. Hopes Russia succeeds so we won’t have to.
12:50: Susan Collins speaking on floor now.
Sen Dan Coates (R-IN) goes from lean nay to firm nay.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) goes from lean nay to firm nay.
1:06: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) goes from undecided to lean nay: “Republican Thad Cochran told The Associated Press on Monday that he’s leaning against military action but still considering President Barack Obama’s arguments for it.”
1:17: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) goes from undecided to firm nay: “After a week of closed-door briefings on the Syrian issue, Collins said she could not support a Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution authorizing military force.”
1:43: A survey by the military times finds that active duty troops oppose military action in Syria by 3:1.
1:50: Pelosi lieutenant Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) releases a statement saying “I will cast a ‘no’ vote to the President’s request for authorization to strike Syria should it be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives.”
I believe a preemptive and unilateral strike against Syria is wrong. I believe it will make the world more dangerous, not safer. I believe it will not reverse the tide on the ground in Syria. I believe that using force for the sake of force is not in the interest of our national security and will be counterproductive.
I believe, as do thousands of my constituents, that going to war against Syria—regardless of how targeted or limited the strikes—will implicate the U.S. in a civil war, cause possible retaliations in the region destabilizing it even more, and add to the ill will against our country.
I will cast a ‘no’ vote to the President’s request for authorization to strike Syria should it be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) who was a firm nay on the initial Senate resolution, says she is “open” to the McCain backdoor AUMF: “While I’m still waiting to learn additional details about this new resolution, if it means we’re closer to a diplomatic solution addressing the use of chemical weapons in Syria, that’s a good thing,” she said.
From the floor of the Senate, Harry Reid announces that the Senate is formally dropping consideration for a resolution authorizing US military force in Syria and deferring to diplomatic efforts.