Monday, September 9, 2013

Syria update

Dear Friends,

Today Congress is continuing to discuss possible U.S. military action in Syria. The Senate is likely to vote on authorizing the use of force in the middle of this week, with a House vote to follow later in the week or early next week. Meanwhile, I am working with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would oppose the use of force at this time. You can read a short update on my efforts here and in the following write-up at National Review Online:

Representative Devin Nunes (Calif.)
Nunes, a member of the House’s right flank who is opposed to military intervention, is working with Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is also opposed, to urge Congress to pursue a diplomatic response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Nunes, like McCarthy, comes from a Western district that’s deeply skeptical of the president, but he doesn’t want to ignore the civil war. Rather, he’d like the administration to come up with a long-term diplomatic strategy for the whole region. He and Manchin both hope that anti-war Democrats and conservative critics can jointly seek a third way on Syria.

Republican hawks are worried that the Nunes-Manchin proposal could peel away support for a strike, but no one knows at this point how much support their proposed resolution might garner. In the meantime, keep an eye on Nunes as he works the halls of the Capitol. If his plan gathers steam with conservatives, it could kill the White House’s hopes of winning an authorization for war. House Democrats, who are hardly rushing to support a strike, could be tempted to sign on, and House Republicans would be able to tell constituents that they have a plan to deal with Assad, even though they’re not for war. “If Obama’s resolution is defeated, you may see members from both parties rally behind this kind of legislation,” predicts one House Republican aide.