House leaders issued a statement saying that “serious, substantive” questions were being raised regarding Syria and they are so glad that the President is asking them to vote because this is so important, constitution, blah blah – oh, and they are going to take the measure up on September 9th, which is another way of saying they are not coming back early from vacaction for this “serious, substantive” matter.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today issued the following joint statement.
“Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress. We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised. In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”
Can you imagine if Democrats had told Bush they’d get back to him on Iraq when they were done with vacation?
This was to be expected by this House, after all, they are only planning on working 9 days in September.
And it’s not as if there’s anything major to deal with, like that debt ceiling threat they’ve been lording over us or anything. It’s not as if they should plan more days instead of less, based on their inability to even decide what the Republican position will be on any given issue. Nope, they’re just going to add Syria to the list and hope for the best.
Frankly, since they have already set historical records with their laziness and failure to pass legislation — only passing 4 out of 12 appropriations bills before they took off on yet another vacation, and when they are there they do nothing but try to harm America, we should be grateful that they are on “vacation” again.
I can hardly wait to see how they handle this “serious” matter. If it’s with the same gravitas as they approach our economy, we’re in deep Cheney doo-doo.
Bets on how long it will take them to try to use Syria as leverage for defunding ObamaCare?
Come on now, let's be fair! If you only got about 22 weeks of vacation a year you'd be miffed if your job had an emergency and asked you to come in! Those bozo's truly are a jolke. Or maybe the joke's on us....
Another bullshit post from you, Celeste. He didn't ask Congress to reconvene...
From The NewYorker:August 31, 2013
Going to Congress: Obama’s Best Syria DecisionPosted by Amy Davidson
President Barack Obama announced two decisions today—one his own resolution, the other potentially far more historic. It might not be immediately obvious which was which. He began by saying that, ten days after what very much appears to have been a chemical-weapons attack outside of Damascus, “I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.” He spoke of the emotional reasons why (the children who died in their sleep) and what he hoped the national-security benefits would be (that part is still muddled) But note the verb: “should take military action”—not will—which set up Obama’s second, more important, and quite correct decision: “I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”
I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. … I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad.
Congress is out of town now, and Obama is not calling on them to reconvene. He said that Saturday morning he’d spoken “with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session.” That will be September 9th, though the leaders can call them back if they want to. The President said that time was not against him here: “The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” he said. “Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now.”
After the speech, a correspondent on CNN wondered how that would sound to Syrians suffering from the war—if they might be angry, as the fighting continued. But since the President also made clear that his goal was not regime change, or “putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war,” that wasn’t going to be stopped anyway. Dropping a few missiles and leaving, which is what the President has in mind, could as easily be an instrument of increased chaos—one of many points that ought to be debated in Congress. A quick strike is something that the Assad regime could put behind it, and sometimes a spectre can be more of a deterrent than a strike. The delay, as frustrating as it might be for some, means at minimum a period of uncertainty for the regime forces. And it pauses what had been a headlong rush to do something—anything that would make us forget those pictures—without thinking the next steps through or caring what happens afterward in Syria. By waiting and deliberating, this becomes, despite all the posturing that will take place, more about the Syrians, and less about our grief-stricken selves.
Did Obama have to do this because when Prime Minister David Cameron went to Parliament he lost? I’ve argued that he did: it removed the idea that any military action would be a sort of no-jury-could-convict-me, anyone-would-do-it response to an attack—that consent could be assumed. It left the President so alone that, looking for a friend in Washington, he’d actually go to Congress. And yet NBC News reported that the majority of the President’s national-security staff was against the decision to ask for authorization; the AP said that officials ”describe a president overriding all his top national security advisers.” If so, Obama deserves credit for not listening.
This may be the first sensible step that Obama has taken in the Syrian crisis, and may prove to be one of the better ones of his Presidency—even if he loses the vote, as could happen. Politically, he may have just saved his second term from being consumed by Benghazi-like recriminations and spared himself Congressional mendacity about what they all might have done. It will likely divide the G.O.P. Although he said that he didn’t really, truly need to ask Congress for permission, he is doing so. Presidents—including Obama, in his decision to ignore the War Powers Act in Libya despite its clear application—have abandoned even the pretense that they need to seek Congressional approval. (Representative Peter King has already complained that the President is “abdicating”—a verb that tells you a lot about why this was a good decision.)
If he loses it’s not unambiguously clear, given how ill-thought out the military strategy appears to be at this point, that Syria, or even his Presidency, will be worse off. (See George Packer’s post on the possible costs, and wonder for a minute if getting the Gulf of Tonkin resolution through was such a victory for Johnson.) “Our democracy is stronger when the President and the people’s representatives stand together,” Obama said; he might have added that it can also be stronger when they stand apart, as long as they are standing up, voting, and being counted. As for his goal of reasserting the importance of international norms, laws, and processes—he would only have undermined that by heading off alone, and can at least live by it by losing.
Would a loss in Congress mean that there is impunity for the use of chemical weapons? That is what Obama will argue: “Here’s my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?” That case will only be stronger if it is argued in front of a legislature and the public, and not in a closed room in the White House. And a loss, as devastating as it might feel, might do less to undermine the possibility of a future consensus than a reckless strike that could have gone very, very wrong, and left too many people regretting having cared. A no vote could also shake other countries out of the view that international treaties and bodies are for show, while the real decisions happen in Washington, and lead to a strengthening of them.
Or it might go badly. Obama is certainly taking a risk, but that’s what the Presidency should be, and this one is worth it. The worst outcomes would involve either Congress or the President dodging this moment and its meaning. Congress might do so by constructing some legislative monstrosity, as it did during the debt-ceiling crisis, that relies on a complicated series of mechanisms that assure nothing—except that whatever happens is Obama’s fault—or too-sweeping powers. And the most disastrous thing that Obama could do is not admitting that he’s lost if he does, and bombing anyway. Perhaps it’s too optimistic to say that today’s decision might be what keeps some future President, our country, and who knows what other nation and people from the sort of tragedy that destroys cities. But it will certainly help, in an area where the world needs all the help it can get. And that makes this a morally important moment for the President as well.
whether he asked them to reconvene or not, would they? I highly doubt it, they have been bitch moan and complaining that President Obama needs our permission, he needs to ask us, now they do not deem it necessary to come back, even on their own, to handle this situation. Now Fox is complaining oh we have given them so much time, they can move things around, which is the same argument that was made when Bush was all over the news about Iraq and going into there for war. But then they complained that Obama better not go in without approval, but now is saying that he could have struck earlier and solved this already:/ Personally, no, we do not need to go in there let them handle their own situation.