Despite Obama’s rally for action to stop the Syrian regime, the possibility remains that Congress will vote against any military strike. While the Senate appears likely to go along with any plans the president proposes, the Republican-led House of Representatives may prove a tough sell.
Although there will be no clear verdict until all of Congress votes on the issue, Think Progress has posted some preliminary numbers based on early discussions.
Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed military action against Syria in a 10-to-7 vote, indicating that the rest of the Senate may follow suit. In the House, however, 149 Republicans will probably vote against any action, while just 13 will likely vote for a military strike.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has noted that voting on potential war "will be among the most difficult [decisions] any of us will be asked to make."
Menendez also said, "I voted against the war in Iraq and strongly support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But today, I support the president's decision to use military force in the face of this horrific crime against humanity."
Senator John McCain has noted that results could be disastrous for the Obama administration, and the country as a whole, if Congress votes against the use of military force. Said McCain, “If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this, after the president of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic in that the credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded. And it would be not only implications for this presidency, but for future presidencies as well."
However, McCain reportedly thinks that current proposals for action against Syria are not aggressive enough.
In efforts to sway Congress and convince the American public that military action is necessary, Kerry has said, “this is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter. Neither our country nor our conscience can afford the cost of silence."
Breakdown via Think Progress: