Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:59 am
This won't be a standard party-line vote. Big factions within both parties remain skeptical about President Obama's plans to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria.
If the vote were held today, it might not pass. Obama and his allies — including top House leaders of both parties — have a big selling job yet to do to persuade a majority of members to authorize military action.
Republican Rep. Austin Scott held a town hall meeting in Thomasville, Georgia, Wednesday. Among the topics that constituents were there to talk about: Syria. Scott told constituents he doesn't plan to support the resolution authorizing U.S. military strikes in Syria.
On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution authorizing President Obama to take military action against the Syrian regime. It goes to the full Senate over the objections of New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall. Steve Inskeep talks with Sen. Udall about his concerns over intervention in Syria.
The Senate immigration bill calls for tripling a controversial federal court program called Operation Streamline. The program takes people caught crossing the border illegally, gives them prison sentences, then deports them. It's hugely expensive — but does it work?
The California legislature passed a bill that would allow lawful permanent residents to sit on juries. Governor Jerry Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill into law. If he does, California will be the first state to allow non-citizens to perform jury duty.
Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed.
With the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief.
We're going to hear now from one House Republican who's already on the record opposing a U.S. military strike in Syria. That's New York Congressman Chris Gibson. Before his election to the House in 2010, Gibson served 24 years in the Army, and that includes four combat tours in Iraq. Congressman Gibson, welcome to the program.
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS GIBSON: Thanks, Melissa. Good to be with you.
BLOCK: Why don't you lay out first just why you oppose a military strike on Syria?
A Senate panel has voted to approve a resolution giving President Obama the authority to carry out punitive strikes against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the authorization by a 10-7 vote, with one senator voting present. The measure must be passed by a vote of the full Senate to come into force. The vote is likely to take place next week.
The vote marks the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 vote giving President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.