ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– So now it appears the full congress could vote next week on whether to authorize a US attack against Syria. How will our local members of congress vote?
We talked to the four congressmen from the metro area and the four senators from Missouri and Illinois and found a wide range of opinion with one thing in common, everybody has reservations.
The senate foreign relations committee resolution that passed Wednesday afternoon authorizes military force with a 60 day limit. It also says there cannot be any US ground troops involved. If a final congressional resolution looks like that one, foreign relations committee member Illinois Senator Dick Durbin would vote yes, saying if we can do something to discourage Assad from using chemical weapons with a long term US military commitment, he’s open to it.
His fellow Illinois senator Republican Mark Kirk will also vote yes saying he’s okay with any narrow authorization for a missile strike on Syria.
But talk to Missouri’s senators and you get quite a different story.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt will probably vote against the use of force saying the president’s plan for limited strikes won’t have any impact. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is undecided saying that while Syria’s use of chemical weapons involves US national security, we shouldn’t get entangled in a longer conflict.
Meanwhile, among local members of the House of Representatives there’s a clear party split on using force.
Missouri Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner will vote no saying she doesn’t see any achievable goals with the use of force across the river.
By Republican Metro-East Congressman John Shimkus, who says he’ll vote no because he hasn’t seen the evidence that would warrant such an attack.
But the St. Louis metro’s two democratic congressmen are on the fence.
City Democrat Lacy Clay says he’s undecided until he sees all the evidence, a position mirroring that of Illinois Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart who also wants the president to make a convincing case.
And while the US military may be ready to go local lawmakers seem anything but. And neither the full senate nor the full house will vote before next week.