Anti-war public sentiments continue to mount against a possible strike on Syria, but Congress hasn’t shot down the idea quite as quickly.
It’s still unclear which way a congressional vote could go.
We reached out to lawmakers and contacted spokespeople from the offices of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), and Congressman Mo Brooks (R-5th District).
The dominant theme of those conversations – no one is ready to make the decision just yet.
The president turned to Congress to make the call on striking Syria, but WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown says he may just have wanted to share responsibility, “If he just took action based on the authority of his own office, he’s going to be out there on a political limb by himself, and so he dragged Congress out on this political limb with him.”
Now many members of Congress face what could become the most important vote of their tenure.
Obviously, a lot people aren’t pleased with the idea of striking Syria, but what about the ones we put in charge?
Brown says, “I think in the Senate, we’re probably talking about something that’s shaping up as a relatively close call.”
Of course, a vote will go to the other end of Capitol Hill too, and our analyst thinks it may not fare as well over there, “In the House, where all the House members have to face the voters next year, I think it’s going to be a lot tougher row to plow.”
The president’s political limb creaks. We’ll learn soon if it will snap.
As far as our leaders, a spokesperson for Senator Sessions directed us to a statement proclaiming the importance of the discussion but no position on the strike itself.
The statement in full reads: ““I look forward to the initiation of a very serious—and overdue—discussion in Congress about Syria and our broader strategy in the chaotic Middle East. It is critical that the Administration articulate a clear national policy as we contemplate further involvement in this dangerous and complex region. Certainly the American people are correct to be concerned about our position in the Middle East, particularly our seeming lack of any clear strategy or purpose.””
A spokesperson for Senator Shelby says the senator remains uncomfortable about getting involved in Syria but did not outright reject the idea.
That statement reads: “Sen. Shelby remains very wary of getting involved in Syria. He continues question what exactly our strategic objective is, and how exactly the President intends to accomplish it.”
A spokesperson for Representative Mo Brooks says he will announce his stance on Syria Wednesday in a speech on the House floor, after a series of classified and unclassified briefings.