WSJ: Harry Reid confident he has the votes to pass Obama’s Syria resolution

posted at 4:01 pm on September 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After keeping decidely mum on the issue up until President Obama announced over the weekend that he intended to seek Congressional authorization for a military strike, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has since spun into action for the president’s cause, quickly making plans to review and shore up support for Obama’s use of force resolution. Via Roll Call:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his support for military action in Syria late Saturday, also announcing that Senate hearings and briefings on the issue will be held the week of Labor Day. …

The Nevada Democrat said that Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., would lead the effort to review President Barack Obama’s request for an authorization for use of  military force against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons in that country. Menendez has lead jurisdiction, but Reid said the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees would also convene briefings in both classified and unclassified settings.

“Following the hearings and briefings, the full Senate will convene and debate a resolution authorizing the use of limited military force against Syria. The Senate will vote on the resolution no later than the week of September 9, as requested by the Obama administration,” Reid said. This will provide ample time for a robust public debate, while ensuring that this critical issue receives a vote in a timely fashion.”

Whether or not there will be enough Congressional support to pass the president’s resolution, however, has been an entirely open question. Emblematic of some of the probable Republican hesitation, perhaps, Sen. John McCain has been plenty vocal about his support for military action in Syria but less enthusiastic about voting for the president’s resolution specifically, looking for a clearer outline on the United States’ precise strategy and intentions.

The White House will be leaning on Reid to garner the necessary support, but Reid would need all/most of his Democratic caucus and/or several willing Republicans to get behind it to come up with the votes; as much as some of his like minded Democratic colleagues won’t want to embarrass the president, that might not be enough to get everyone to overlook their war-wariness. The WSJ reports, however, that Reid is apparently confident that he will have the votes to pass the resolution, even in the event of a potential filibuster to block it, according to an aide familiar with the situation:

Senate Democratic leaders are voicing confidence that they will be able to pass a resolution authorizing an attack on Syria. …

Democrats have said, however, that the broadly worded resolution submitted by the White House Saturday night would have to be revamped in order to pass the Senate. Mr. Reid’s staff is working with aides to Mr. Menendez to redraft the resolution. Mr. Menendez said in the CNN interview that it would likely be amended to included a ban on U.S. troops being deployed in Syria and time limit on the authorization.

With such changes, a senior Senate Democratic aide predicted few defections from the Senate’s 54 Democrats and allied members. The White House is counting on support from hawkish Republicans like Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R.,S.C.). If opponents mount a filibuster, it would take 60 votes to end the delaying tactics and bring the measure to the vote.

“I really think we will keep most of our folks,’’ the aide said.

Hmm. Reid and his Senatorial whipping, along with the White House’s furious lobbying blitzkreig, will be doing their darndest to favorably align Congressional opinion, but National Review reports that the Senate Republican leadership doesn’t sound ready to go all-in as resolutely as House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor did earlier today:

“Senate Leadership is not likely to go all in as quickly as House Republican leadership did today,” a Senate Republican aide says. “Obama will have to keep making his case over here.” …

“I appreciate the President’s briefing today at the White House and would encourage him to continue updating the American people,” McConnell said. “While we are learning more about his plans, Congress and our constituents would all benefit from knowing more about what it is he thinks needs to be done-and can be accomplished-in Syria and the region.”

‘We need more information’ seems to be the developing line, and Congress is poised to spend the next several days tacking out a pros-and-cons list before officially coming back together next week.


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Barry is going to spend the next 6 months….

Sky News Newsdesk ✔ @SkyNewsBreak

Syrian Government tells French Parliament in letter that “we can work together to reach a diplomatic solution”

Oil Can on September 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

You mean Harry ‘where am I, what’s my name?’ Reid? That Harry?

slickwillie2001 on September 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Will Vegas “Union Members” be showing up at Senators’ doors? I mean, that’s how he got out the vote to get re-elected…

kingsjester on September 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Gassing the civilians was so long ago…

patman77 on September 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Harry? Why do you even need to vote? You didn’t vote on Libya, and that was a regime change…

oldroy on September 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Emblematic of some of the probable Republican hesitation, perhaps, Sen. John McCain has been plenty vocal about his support for military action in Syria but less enthusiastic about voting for the president’s resolution specifically, looking for a clearer outline on the United States’ precise strategy and intentions.

Really? John McCain wanting to go full D-Day on Syria is emblematic of other Republicans’ hesitation?

This is important. I need “Voted no because it wasn’t enough” asterisks on my score sheet, not just “voted no.”

Axe on September 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Who does this horse’s azz think he is?

Kerry Stumbles on ‘Boots on the Ground’

Come again? At a Senate hearing Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to equivocate when asked whether there would be American boots on the ground in Syria. Kerry said at one point he wouldn’t “take off the table” the idea, nor any other military actions. However, pressed on his answer—which contradicted previous public statements—Kerry clarified that he was only “thinking out loud.” “Let’s shut that door tight as we can,” he insisted. Not acting at all on Syria, the secretary said in closing, would turn America into “spectators of slaughter.”

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Amnesty and the budget/ceiling will all be passed in the background “because there is a war, don’t you know”.

All the Rs who vote for this and amnesty, out in 2014…the entire congress.

Senate morons like Flake, Rubio and McCain, out with the very first occasion, whatever that may be.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Pretty sad day when noted loons Kucinich and Ron Paul are the only sane voices to be heard on Faux News…

Now Rubio (the Savior of the GOP) is warmongering, says we should have invaded Syria long ago.

LegendHasIt on September 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Rubio, the traitor of the land is “on board”.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

The Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center, Shadi Hamid, tweets out about the Egyptian media depicting Obama as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Newspaper also claims that son of Muslim Brotherhood leader threatened Obama with release of “papers” revealing his MB membership.

At Hoft’s

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

WSJ: Harry Reid confident he has the votes to pass Obama’s Syria resolution

I think he’s bluffing to bolster the MSM’s attempt to manufacture a sense of inevitability about war in Syria, but even if it’s true that he has the votes in the Senate I don’t think the House is foolish enough to vote for a war on Al Qaeda’s behalf.

FloatingRock on September 3, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Rubio, the traitor of the land is “on board”.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

No surprise there. He may as well spare himself the embarrassment of running in 2016.

Doughboy on September 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

How would Senator Obama have acted if a GOP president in the same situation?

rob verdi on September 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Is this when I find out which side we’re to be fighting for?

MNHawk on September 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

No surprise there. He may as well spare himself the embarrassment of running in 2016.

Doughboy on September 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Latino Bush.

Oil Can on September 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Warmonger.

ROFL This is some funny stuff watching the demorats fall all over themselves to justify attacking a mideast nation.

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM

How would Senator Obama have acted if a GOP president in the same situation?

rob verdi on September 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

That’s not even a hypothetical you have to ask. Just go back and read his remarks during the Bush years.

Doughboy on September 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM

obama only furthers two things, always:

1. Himself

2. His muzzie brothers.

All else is bullshit.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Rubio, the traitor of the land is “on board”.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Of course he does, Rubio has been advocating arming Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria for years, fighting a war for them is just the next step in the escalation.

Look at it this way: Al Qaeda must be our friend and ally, right? Because if they’re our enemy then there would be no excuse to leave our borders open and relatively undefended all of these years since 9/11. It would literally be tantamount to treason, so therefor Al Qaeda must necessarily be good…. except when it’s necessary to grow the fascist police state, like the NSA, then Al Qaeda is our enemy which must be feared in order to justify turning America into a police state. In that instance it is necessary for the corrupt ruling class to serve a different set of cronies that relies on Al Qaeda being our enemy, but in other cases when a different set of crony interests must be appeased, Al Qaeda is our friend and ally and it is immoral not to fight and die on their behalf in Libya, Syria and eventually elsewhere.

FloatingRock on September 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

So? It’s the Dem majority Chamber, and he can has back up from the two bombs-away “all war, all the time” Republican war donkeys. What should we have expected?

I doubt very much there will be a common declaration between the two chambers that could be issued to the President.

Dusty on September 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

What a train wreck… Thanks GOP you ass wipes…

sandee on September 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

The White House is counting on support from hawkish Republicans like Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R.,S.C.).

Barry’s bishes.

antipc on September 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

“The Big Three” will take the stage in front of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to make the case for “the authorization of the use of force in Syria.” Given the volume of ‘supportive’ leadership comments this morning already, it seems that John Kerry (Secretary of State), Chuck Hagel (Secretary of Defense), and General Martin Dempsey (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) will not get too much push-back though earlier comments that the scope of the strike “was too narrow” may become a sticking point.

Live webcast thru zh

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

So? It’s the Dem majority Chamber, and he can has back up from the two bombs-away “all war, all the time” Republican war donkeys. What should we have expected?

I doubt very much there will be a common declaration between the two chambers that could be issued to the President.

Dusty on September 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The two houses of Congress will work that in instead of a budget reconciliation.

oldroy on September 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Couldn’t we just take care of all of this in an “Omnibus Syrian War, Alien Amnesty, Obamacare Funding continuing resolution”?

oldroy on September 3, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Kerry making the case to go to war because of WMD.

Democrat Hyposcrisy of the ****** century millenium.

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

obama only furthers two things, always:

1. Himself

2. His muzzie brothers.

All else is bullshit.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Nice summation. +1

DDay on September 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

omg…Kerry talking about rapid regime change in Syria…

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

How much funding for the Muslim Brotherhood will be in this vote?

albill on September 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Kerry using “broad coalition” over and over again…

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Harry Reid confident he has the votes GOP will bail out Obama.

Why shouldn’t he be?

kunegetikos on September 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

omg…Kerry talking about rapid regime change in Syria…

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

WWIII? These guys aren’t very smart.

oldroy on September 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Chris Coons (Delaware) makign the case for action based on verified use of WMD’s.

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Will Hagel blame all of this on the Joos?

oldroy on September 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

They took the black and blue from the dark skies and a stoned infidel girl’s eyes and a touch of Allah’s hue
And gave it to the men who proudly wear the U.S. Air Al Qaeda Black and Blue.
The U.S. Air Al Qaeda Black and Blue!

Oh, they are men with an Obama dream on Al Qaeda’s team
They’re a now unsightly but Shariah compliant crew
And you can bet your neck and head the Islamic world looks up to the U.S. Air Al Qaeda Black and Blue
And you can wear it too! The uniform of the U.S… Air Al Qaeda … Black and Blue!

VorDaj on September 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Gen. Dempsey says he has been given the task to “Deter and Degrade”

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

This, this and this again

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Kerry just said that we will put zero troops on the ground.

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Rubio, the traitor of the land is “on board”.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Rubio was the main one, even more than McCain, pushing Obama to do more to help the “rebels” in Libya and hence is as responsible as anyone else for the Benghazi 9/11.

VorDaj on September 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Gen. Dempsey says he has been given the task to “Deter and Degrade”

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

That’s Obama’s main goal on U.S. energy development.

VorDaj on September 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM

This government is insane. Following Obama, Hagel and Kerry (formerly known as Larry, Curley and Moe) on this fools mission should not be an option. When there is an imminent danger to the 50 United States then go get ‘em, otherwise stay the hell out of this quagmire and don’t get involved with any of those scurvy bands of thugs called “rebels”. Just reflect on how well we managed Egypt.

rplat on September 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

THIS

omg…Kerry talking about rapid regime change in Syria…

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

PLUS THIS

Kerry just said that we will put zero troops on the ground.

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

EQUALS CHAOS

Jabberwock on September 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Washington Free Beacon Staff
September 3, 2013 3:56 pm

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey couldn’t answer what exactly the U.S. was seeking in Syria Tuesday during questioning from Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) about a resolution authorizing military action there:

DEMPSEY: The answer to whether I support additional support for the moderate opposition is yes.

CORKER: And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.

DEMPSEY: I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support –

CORKER: What you’re seeking. What is it you’re seeking?

DEMPSEY: I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.

VorDaj on September 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM

John Kerry, thinking out loud and mentioning “boots on the ground” just killed any idea of intervention.

GarandFan on September 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Breaking: Traffic snarled in every major city by war protestors…#ifRomneywasPres…

hillsoftx on September 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

The House should unilaterally delay the vote for a year. Speed bumps, headwinds, and all that.

BobMbx on September 3, 2013 at 5:16 PM

I give it less than 72 hours before we here “a war of pre-emption”

BobMbx on September 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

This administration, and Harry Reid especially doesn’t have the moral authority to send our men and women into harms way. They CONTINUALLY send our troops out on a limb and cut it off behind them (Think Benghazi)
Every thine I see Harry Reids ugly face I am reminded of him declaring the Iraq war lost while we had men in the field. Every time I see John Kerry I think of his winter soldier speech. This lot of seditious scum has no moral right to send our troops anywhere, especially if it’s just because of Obamas ego.

V7_Sport on September 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

What fool would vote for this?

pat on September 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I’m not so much worried about the cost of the bombs we are going to drop on Syria but I am worried about the cost to rebuild what we destroy.

Ditkaca on September 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Kerry using “broad coalition” over and over again…

Murphy9 on September 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Well, technically he is right. You have French,British,Belgian,Dutch, German,Italian,Spanish and even Canadian allies there already. Of course they are all Muslims or perverts to Islam that come from those nations . Then, to broaden the coalition even more, there are Chechens,Nigerians,Somalis,Afghans,Pakistanis,Saudis,Yemenis,Iraqis and many more ‘Slum nations who are part of your band of brothers. With the Arab League onside, it’s a green light.

It is for moments like this that I feel the term WTF???!!! fits most aptly.

WTF America?

BL@KBIRD on September 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM

broadly worded resolution submitted by the White House Saturday night

Did Jugears really think that Congress was going to just sign off on his wish list resolution proposal!? The balls on that guy!

Patriot Vet on September 3, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Sen. Reid thinks if we start bombing Syria, the DOD will want to start taraget practice in his back yard again.

MSGTAS on September 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Whether or not there will be enough Congressional support to pass the president’s resolution, however, has been an entirely open question.

I can’t believe anyone still doubts this. Congress will give him everything he demands, then beg him to take more.

Have you not been watching these last 5 years???

\god I hope I’m wrong

runawayyyy on September 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM