- Easter worshippers shocked as car rams church, injuring 21
- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
Senate committee passes resolution backing strikes in Syria
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution Wednesday granting President Obama limited authority to conduct military strikes on Syria, after nearly an hour of wrestling over the details of war planning and trying to make sure the conflict doesn’t spiral out of control.
The measure squeaked through on a bipartisan 10-7 vote that helps build momentum for Mr. Obama, though bigger hurdles lie ahead with a full Senate vote and similar action in the House, where one lawmaker said there are not currently enough votes to act.
Mr. Obama’s spokesman hailed the vote as a key milestone.
“We believe America is stronger when the president and Congress work together,” said press secretary Jay Carney, adding that the administration accepts the version senators wrote, even though it’s much more limited than the draft Mr. Obama himself had proposed this weekend.
“We will continue to work with Congress to build on this bipartisan support for a military response that is narrowly tailored to enforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and sufficient to protect the national security interests of the United States of America,” Mr. Carney said.
Three Republicans joined seven Democrats in backing the measure, while two Democrats opposed it along with five other Republicans, signaling how deeply the questions split both parties.
Senators will bring the resolution to the Senate floor next week.
The resolution still prohibits “combat troops” from being deployed, but analysts said that still leaves open room for other American troops to be used in Syria, either as special forces or search and rescue missions.
An effort by Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico Democrat, to specifically limit attacks to naval or air power outside Syria was defeated overwhelmingly.
“We start down this road, we are going to be running the campaign from here, and as smart as we are, I don’t think we are that smart,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and former Navy pilot, who led opposition to the Udall amendment.
Still, senators said they wanted there to be no mixed signals and said they don’t want to see American troops committed to the fight in Syria.
Mr. Udall, who voted against the final resolution, said he was worried about the potential for the U.S. to be drawn into the broader conflict once it begins to take any role.
“Vietnam started with U.S. advisors and a limited naval presence. It led to an all-out war,” he said, saying the U.S. hasn’t yet exhausted other diplomatic avenues and that there’s no evidence the administration’s plan would stop future chemical weapons use.
Sen. Christopher Murphy, the other Democrat who voted against the resolution, said he worried about the resolution’s language pushing the U.S. to arm Syrian rebels. He said he feared that inextricably tied the U.S. to one side in the conflict — a tie he said could be the way the U.S. gets drawn into the full war.
“I worry we have now committed ourselves to a level of support that will have to endure after the fall of Bashar al-Assad,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- No comment on petition to deport Bieber
- Red-state Democrats blast latest Keystone delay
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador's visa, but says law is 'advisory'
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- In Colorado, a marijuana holiday tries to go mainstream
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- CURL: Shelly O first lady Michelle Obama comes in last
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- See the scathing documents detailing $600 billion squandered in Afghanistan
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.