In Washington, Congress is preparing for a vote on President Obama’s request for funding to help Syrian rebels fight ISIS. At this stage, it looks like the proposal will be handled as an amendment to the continuing resolution that will fund the government past the end of the September 30th fiscal year.
Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah), for one, would prefer a standalone vote, and wonders whether the President’s plan will be enough to quell the threat posed by ISIS. Speaking to Mike Huckabee on Fox News over the weekend, Kingston also expressed his opinion that in order to win, American troops will need to be involved.
Kingston noted Article I of the Constitution provides that only Congress has the power “to declare war,” and said that this Congress should do its duty to the American people. In addition to the appearance on the Huckabee show, Kingston has pressed his case on Michael Smerconish’s CNN program, and on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes.
The Hill is reporting today that any vote on the matter will likely require Democratic support.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he wasn’t sure his amendment granting President Obama’s request for congressional authority would be backed by a majority of Republican lawmakers, many of whom expressed deep reservations about the plan.
And Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member close to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), predicted that Democrats would have to supply a significant number of votes to approve the amendment, since many members on both sides are likely to oppose it.
“It’s going to take a bipartisan coalition to pass it, and I think it’ll be bipartisan opposition,” Cole said.
Many House members, like Kingston, would prefer to have a new authorization of military force. Others wonder if any arms provided by the United States would eventually fall into the wrong hands. And still others are concerned that the whole effort could end up like the quicksand that drew the United States into the Vietnam War, noting that the military advisers sent to Southeast Asia by President Kennedy ended up morphing into hundreds of thousands of American troops.
But, campaign season for many (not including Kingston) beckons. It remains to be seen if Chet will get his wish.