Constituent opposition is making an impact. Call your representatives today, especially in the House, and urge them to vote “No” on war with Syria. We are within reach of stopping a war resolution from passing. Call 202-224-3121 and ask for your representative. If you can call additional representatives check the Washington Post article below for those who are undecided and help pull them to the “No” camp. Make sure to tell them to vote “No” no matter how narrow the military attack it. A military attack is an act of war that can lead to a full-fledged war. A military attack violates international law. There are more effective alternatives to stopping the use of chemical weapons.
Below are four articles from the Huffington Post, The Hill, Roll Call and the Washington Post showing that the Obama administration does not have the votes yet for a war resolution; and they have an uphill struggle, especially in the House. Stopping a war is not an easy thing to do, but we may be able to stop the war on Syria.
House Greets Syria War Resolution With Intense Skepticism; Vote Could Go Down
By Zach Carter and Ryan Grim
WASHINGTON — This sucker could go down. And unlike the Wall Street bailout, there is unlikely to be a do-over.
A resolution authorizing military force against Syria barely made it out of the hawkish Senate Foreign Relations Committee — with the majority of Republicans opposing it — and now is facing withering skepticism in Congress. While the Senate appears poised to come to some type of agreement, the “People’s House,” as it is known, is showing much more reluctance to approve the deeply unpopular bombing resolution. “Peace may well have a chance,” said one top House GOP aide.
Public opinion surveys have been reflected in the outpouring of calls, emails and letters that have flooded House offices, running, say lawmakers, at more than 9 to 1 against intervention. The opposition spans the political spectrum.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said on Twitter that his delegation is unpersuaded and that public reaction has been fiercely opposed. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who represents the libertarian opposition within the GOP, said that he’s also seeing intense disapproval.
Discomfort with the war resolution is not just Republican. “Members on both sides [are] undecided, with most (not all) I’ve talked to feeling extremely uneasy and uncomfortable with this resolution,” said one Democratic member. “I think if it went down today, it wouldn’t pass the House. People though are truly undecided with concerns in a bipartisan way. The real question is if those who feel uncomfortable with this can be made to be comfortable with a resolution that has a much narrower scope.”
Complicating the picture for advocates of intervention, at least 34 members who voted to support the Iraq war are now leaning against supporting intervention in Syria, presumably burned by experience.
A classified House briefing early Thursday afternoon is intended to ease much of that discomfort. The paradox for the Obama administration, though, is that as the scope of the resolution narrows, the rationale for doing anything at all diminishes. If the purpose is to deter a future strike, a very narrow and limited bombing might only embolden Syria’s President Bashar Assad or other leaders — and hawks on the issue such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have warned they will vote against anything that is too narrow. McCain nearly sank the Senate’s resolution Wednesday over that worry. But the deal cut with McCain to secure his support leaves the resolution vulnerable to other critiques – that it is too broad and could authorize an open-ended commitment to regime change.
Pelosi unsure about Dem support for Syria resolution
By Mike Lillis
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this week she’s unsure if a majority of her caucus will back President Obama’s proposal to strike Syria.
“I don’t know,” Pelosi said in a Tuesday interview with Time magazine published Thursday. “I think it would be important to get a majority in the Congress. But I don’t know if it’s important how you would break it down. These issues are not really partisan.”Pelosi – one of the most vocal supporters of Obama’s plan to launch missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians – says Democratic leaders will not formally whip a use-of-force resolution. But she’s been very active making a case for U.S. intervention as both a humanitarian response and a deterrent for similar attacks in the future.
“Hopefully, if this does happen, it will be a message to everyone — the North Koreans, the Iranians, the Syrians, anyone who would use a WMD or threaten to use one — that that’s probably not a good idea,” she told Time.
A growing number of liberal Democrats, however, are voicing strong reservations about strikes on Syria, warning that military involvement would be ineffective, cause greater civilian casualties and entrench the United States in yet another Middle Eastern conflict.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), for instance, is a “strong no,” her office said Thursday. In lieu of missile strikes, Lee is crafting legislation promoting a non-military response, focusing on sanctions and an effort to involve the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Pelosi sent letters to the members of her Caucus asking what changes to the authorization resolution would win their backing.
“Please offer further suggestions or ideas you may have as to what you can support, so I can convey your concerns to the White House,” she wrote Wednesday.
Pelosi is getting little help from GOP leaders. Although Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has both endorsed Obama’s plan and called on Republicans to support it, he’s also made clear that he won’t go out of his way to get votes. That, Boehner’s office has said, is Obama’s burden.
“The Speaker offered his support for the president’s call to action, and encourages all Members of Congress to do the same,” spokesman Michael Steel said this week. “Now, it is the president’s responsibility to make his case to the American people and their elected representatives.”
The strange dynamics have left much of the heavy lifting for Pelosi, as House Republicans are lining up in opposition and a good number of Democrats will almost certainly be needed to get an authorization resolution through the lower chamber.
It’s hardly the first time Pelosi has faced the task of uniting a reluctant caucus behind a tough vote, having shepherded both climate change legislation in 2009 and healthcare reform in 2010 through the House by the slimmest of margins.
Despite her determined efforts to rally support for a Syria resolution, the California Democrat is rejecting the notion that she’s leading the drumbeat to intervention.
“I’m not exactly leading the charge,” she told Time. “But I’m supporting the president.”
Will Liberals Follow Pelosi on Syria?
Nancy Pelosi’s usual allies in the liberal wing of the House Democratic Caucus have a message for the California lawmaker: they respect her, but they may not be able to follow her when it comes to Syria.
The House minority leader has nonetheless been making the case — with increasing urgency and fervor — that Democrats should vote next week for a resolution to authorize U.S. military strikes against the Syrian government, although falling short of “whip” effort given that issues of war and peace are ultimately conscience votes for lawmakers.
She appeared at the microphones outside the White House on Tuesday after a briefing with President Barack Obama to voice her unequivocal support. Since then, she has sent two letters to colleagues to solicit feedback on what they need in order to vote “yes.”
“This week is an important one in our discussion of what House Members are willing to support,” Pelosi wrote in a Wednesday afternoon letter.
She has a history of successfully shoring up support for key legislation that progressives find unsavory; perhaps the most famous recent example came in 2011, when then-Congressional Black Caucus ChairmanEmanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., referred to the debt ceiling deal as a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”
A growing number of Congressional Progressive Caucus members are starting to articulate clear positions around the Syria resolution, but the majority of members are still declining to draw lines in the sand.
Advocates of military intervention see the CPC, and other anti-war Democrats, as key to the resolution’s chances for passage. They also see them as ripe for persuasion: On Wednesday afternoon, White House officials held a targeted conference call to brief CPC members and answer questions.
But lawmakers are making it clear that no matter what, they’ll be making up their own minds, and there isn’t much anyone can do to change that — not even Pelosi.
“She’s respected, her opinion is respected and her tenure is respected and to some extent she will have influence,” said Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, who has said he will vote “no” on the resolution while the other co-chairman, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, has indicated he will vote “yes.”
“We all have the deepest respect for Leader Pelosi but each one of us will make a decision based on our own point of view there, I’m sure,” said Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., who was elected to Congress in the anti-Iraq War wave of 2006. Shea-Porter came out against authorizing force in Syria on Tuesday night. “We listen, it’s our job to listen and to hear all sides.”
One of the major difficulties for leadership in negotiating the votes for a resolution like this is that nobody wants to be crass about the political calculations and implications. Pelosi is no exception.