Washington Post: "The White House appealed Monday to two of Congress' most powerful interests — protecting Israel and challenging Iran — as President Obama and his aides scrambled to win lawmakers' support for a resolution authorizing punitive missile strikes in Syria. Obama led the full-throttle Labor Day lobbying campaign by dialing up congressional leaders and huddling for an hour with two Republican hawks, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who now may prove pivotal to the president's aims. McCain later gave a qualified endorsement, which cheered the White House."
NBC News: 'Secretary of State John Kerry told House Democrats during a Monday conference call that they face a 'Munich moment' as they weigh whether to approve striking Syria to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons....The phrase is a reference to the 1938 Munich Pact that ceded control of part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany -- a moment that history has harshly judged as an appeasement of Adolf Hitler that preceded World War II."
Roll Call: “At some point Boehner will have to make a decision and presumably rally his troops. Whether they will follow is an open question. Already, there is tension between the House Republican and Democratic camps over who will shoulder the burden of providing the votes to avoid a historic defeat for the president. GOP aides suggested Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has strongly backed the president, will have to provide the bulk of the votes. But a Democratic leadership aide put the onus back on Boehner.”
John McCain outside the White House: “A rejection, a vote against that resolution by Congress, I think would be catastrophic because it would undermine the credibility of the United States and the president.”
The wheels are in motion. Yesterday, 127 members of Congress were on a conference call with Secretary of State John Kerry. Today, Committee chairs, ranking members and leaders Boehner and Pelosi will meet at the White House, Roll Call reports.
The Hill: “Members of the Senate plan to narrow President Obama’s authorization request for military action in Syria, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sunday. Leahy told reporters about the planned rewrite of the resolution after attending a classified intelligence briefing on Sunday at the Capitol. ‘At the stakeout [Leahy] said that there will be new language drafted in the Senate for consideration, that the administration understands that, and that the current version is too broad,’ said a spokesman for Leahy.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe any resolution should have “appropriate limitations,” including on duration and that no troops should be on the ground.
"Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will testify at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday to argue the Obama administration's case for using military force in Syria," per NBC's Kasie Hunt. "A Senate source confirms that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will them at Tuesday's hearing."
New York Times' Jonathan Martin: " The Congressional vote on whether to strike Syria will offer the best insight yet on which wing of the Republican Party — the traditional hawks, or a growing bloc of noninterventionists — has the advantage in the fierce internal debates over foreign policy that have been taking place all year....To Republicans concerned about next year’s midterm elections, such a divisive public battle amounts to a distraction. They would prefer to focus on issues that voters say they are most interested in: taxes, spending, Mr. Obama’s health care law."
What’s behind stopping a member of Congress from becoming a general?
Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas, claimed after a classified briefing on Syria evidence: "Yes, I saw the classified documents yesterday. They were pretty thin.”
Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, said: "I've heard that theory before somehow one country's actions will affect another country's and another country's and another country's. It's just the Domino argument again. We'll call it the 'bomb-ino' argument. It's not logical, doesn't make any sense." He added, “"We are not the world's policeman. We can't afford this anymore, these military adventures that lead us into wars that last for a decade or more. It's wrong. We need to cut it off before it even happens."
First published September 3 2013, 5:49 AM