House Speaker John Boehner has formally endorsed launching a war with Syria but questions remain as to whether he can gain his party’s support and whether the authorization of military force can even make it through the House he supposedly leads.
Early signs say it will be hard for President Obama to win congressional authorization for military action in Syria. That could change; lawmakers might re-write the president’s draft authorization into something they can live with, ultimately allowing Obama to go forward. But whatever happens, Republicans have a compelling case for rejecting the president’s request.
Republicans are both distrustful of Obama and skeptical of the mission. The Al Qaeda linked rebels who stand to benefit from weakening Assad has put off both parties. As the FDL Whip List has it, there are at least 6 Republican firm nays and 51 leaning in that direction.
Is Speaker Boehner really in control? Can he definitely deliver the votes to get this through the House?
Of course, there is the Democratic Party which is far from united on this issue. Although Nancy Pelosi is hawkish, her power is dissipating as she concedes House Speaker is likely not in her future even if Democrats take back the House, which means an alliance against war with Syria could transcend party lines and lead to the the Syrian war resolution being rejected.
The full Congress returns on September 9th.