President Obama has agreed to ask Congress for authorization before he attacks Syria. I salute that, since the Constitution requires Congress to approve going to war. However, I predict that a coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans will vote the proposal down. What do you think Congress should do? What do you think Congress will do?
President Barack Obama said he has decided he should order limited military strikes against Syria, but in a move laden with political and diplomatic implications, he also agreed in an about-face to solicit authorization for the mission from Congress.
President Obama says that while he has decided that it is necessary for the U.S. to undertake a military strike on Syria, he will seek the support of Congress before doing so.
Mr. Obama’s announcement in a Rose Garden statement brought an unusually sudden halt to a military mobilization that for days has appeared on the cusp of a limited bombardment of Syria as punishment for its alleged use of chemical weapons Aug. 21.
It also marked a jarring shift as president for Mr. Obama, whose senior aides have been saying that he would not seek congressional authorization and that he had the legal right to order the start of military strikes.
Mr. Obama said legislative leaders have agreed to hold a debate and a vote on the issue as soon as Congress returns, which currently is scheduled to be Sept. 9. Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, considered calling the chamber back to session before then.
The move places the president’s Syria policy on an unknown course, subjecting it to a certain showdown on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are deeply divided on the issue and even more so over Mr. Obama himself.
By agreeing to a congressional debate, Mr. Obama faces some amount of risk that he will be handed a defeat by legislators, like that suffered by British Prime Minister David Cameron over Syria this past week.