- The Washington Times - Monday, September 9, 2013

The Senate has put off a key test vote on the resolution authorizing President Obama to attack Syria, with Majority Leader Harry Reid saying Monday it’s more important to get the debate right than to get it done fast.

Mr. Reid had been expected to file a motion Monday evening setting up a filibuster vote for Wednesday, trying to make his schedule of holding a final vote this week. But he said he wants to give Mr. Obama time to make his case both to Congress and to the public, and for lawmakers to digest those arguments.

“I think what we need to do is make sure that the president has the opportunity to speak to all 100 senators and all 300 million American people before we do this,” he said.

Though Mr. Reid didn’t reference it, the decision comes just hours after Russia appeared to offer a potential solution that would avoid strikes and have Syria turn its chemical weapons over to an international authority. That proposal won praise from lawmakers on all sides of the Syria question.

Right now the Senate is debating whether to even bring the authorization of force resolution to the chamber floor.

Mr. Reid, who supports the president’s call for strikes, said there were enough votes to overcome a filibuster on Wednesday — though that doesn’t mean Mr. Obama would have won a second filibuster vote on final passage.