Rich Galen

The Huffington Post reported that Cantor said that the U.S. has a compelling national security interest to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues calling on them, according to the National Journal, "to approve action to respond to 'the Syrian government's unspeakable use of chemical weapons.'"

Boehner, Cantor and Pelosi all agree which reminds me of the famous Woody Allen line:

"The lion will lay down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep."

If the Republican and Democratic House leaders all agree, passage should be a mortal lock in the House, right?

Not so fast. As CNN reported: "Opposition comes from across the political spectrum, with liberal Democrats and libertarian tea party Republicans in rare unity against what they call an unnecessary U.S. foreign intervention."

When a resolution comes to the House floor for a vote, pundits are claiming that the "Hastert Rule" will apply. Most of them believe that the "Hastert Rule" means no bill (or resolution) can come to the floor without enough Republican votes to pass it.

Speaker Dennis Hastert never said that. What he said was there had to be a "majority of the majority."

In this case the majority are the Republicans. There are 234 of them. A majority of the majority would be 50 percent of 234 plus one or 118 votes.

There are 435 voting Members of the House. A majority is 218 (assuming all seats are filled and all Members vote.)

Thus, if 118 Republicans vote for the Resolution, then Nancy Pelosi has to deliver 100 Democrats to guarantee the 218 vote lock.

Will that happen?

We'll see, as we go through the week and the weekend what the resolve of the House Members and Senators are.

To my Jewish friends, Happy New Year. May 5773 5774 find you, and everyone you know and care for - Jewish or not - happy, healthy and at peace.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at