Now, the Congressional nose-counting begins: Who's for the resolution to attack Syria, who's against, who's undecided, and who is calling their chief of staff asking, "What's all this about Syria? Where the hell is Syria?
Those are mostly U.S. Senators.
Problem is, there is no resolution to be for or against.
The White House sent one up to the Hill on Sunday a couple of hours after the President's staff found out he was going to ask for Congressional approval, but was being told in home room that a social studies paper was due by third period. Put something on paper and hope the teacher is in a good mood.
The actionable part of the draft resolutions reads:
The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.
That doesn't have any chance of passing (and you can read the entire resolution on the Secret Decoder Ring page today) but no one, including the White House lawyers, thought it would.
The Senate is leading this parade because Senators, by dint of being elected to six-year terms, are supposed to think about what is best for the nation. Last night the Associated Press was reporting that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had agreed on Resolution language that, "would limit the duration of any U.S. military action in response to the Syrian government's suspected use of chemical weapons on its people. It also would specifically bar U.S. ground troops from Syria."
Both the committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and the senior Republican, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) agreed to the language which was not available as I was typing this.
Reporters John Bresnahan and Manu Raju reported in Politico.com that the resolution "sets a 60-day deadline, with one 30-day extension possible."
As of last night it was assumed that the barring of U.S. ground troops did not include CIA or special forces personnel.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will likely vote on the resolution today (Wednesday) so it can go to the floor when the Senate reconvenes next Monday.
As the day moved on, yesterday, the Congressional agreement pendulum swung from "no way" to "maybe" to "possibly." By this time tomorrow it might well be "probably."
In the House, both Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) met with President Barack Obama on Tuesday following which they announced they will approve military action against Syria.
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