What happens if the congress voted “no” against military action in Syria, What would Obama do then?
would he do it to save his creditbilty to other countries, or he will just miss it.
A Washington Post running count as of Friday afternoon showed 104 House members would vote “no” on Syria right now. A further 120 said they “lean no” on the issue.
“Lean no” isn’t necessarily the same as “no,” as scores of final House outcomes make clear. The vote isn’t being held Friday, so Mr. Obama still has time to make his case to wavering lawmakers.
Earlier before Obama declined to answer a question in a press conference what he would do if Congress votes “no,” ?
“I think it would be a mistake for me to jump the gun and speculate because right now I’m working to get as much support as possible out of Congress,” Obama said.
sametime White House officials have said that as a matter of inherent executive branch power Obama believes he has the right to launch an attack no matter the congressional outcome.
But there are some indications a Syria strike is unlikely without congressional approval. A New York Times story Friday quoted anonymous White House aides as saying such a unilateral course of action is “almost unthinkable,” and would surely launch a move toward impeachment in the House, which would drain and distract the administration at the least.
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken appeared to confirm this in an NPR interview on Friday, saying “the president of course has the authority to act, but it’s neither his desire, nor his intention, to use that authority absent Congress backing him.”
christian science asked if that outcome make the US less assertive in the world in years to come? That’s certainly possible. Denied congressional backing this time, Obama could well be reluctant to go to Congress again if Assad doubles down and continues to use chemical weapons on civilians.
The context of crises matters, though. Obama has also made it clear that he will act on his own if he feels US interests are directly or imminently threatened. An Iranian breakout and race to highly enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon might fall into that category. Thus it is unclear what the outcome of the congressional Syria vote might hold for the far more fraught issue of Iran and its nuclear program.
As to domestic politics, many in Washington believe a defeat on Syria would leave Obama weakened for coming battles in Congress over fiscal issues. Given how badly the administration has handled Syria, goes this reasoning, his critics will be emboldened and his supporters unhappy. A loss on Capitol Hill is a loss, no matter the subject.
“I can’t believe how badly he’s mishandled this issue,” said Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona to a local radio show.
But left-leaning pundit Greg Sargent makes another argument: in such a situation voters will see a president abiding by the will of the people. The liberal Democratic base, which largely opposes Syrian intervention, would rally to support Obama.
“Independents, who have tilted strongly against an attack, might be supportive, too,” writes Sargent.
And the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, a conservative who supports retaliation against Syria for its chemical use, warns that GOP lawmakers who vote “no” on the use of force may be handing Obama a domestic political weapon.
“The only thing that can get Obama off the hook now is for Republicans to deny him authorization for the use of force against the Assad regime,” writes Kristol. “Then the GOP can be blamed for whatever goes wrong on Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East, over the next months and years.”