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www.wmfd.com - Democratic lawmakers spent part of this past weekend lobbying on a conference call with President Obama with the topic, Syria, and what potential actions may be taken. }}" />

   
 
 
President Faces Uphill Battle In Congress On Syria Vote

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/3/2013 Democratic lawmakers spent part of this past weekend lobbying on a conference call with President Obama. The topic, Syria, and what potential actions may be taken. President Obama is facing an uphill fight for votes, led by a former senator who knows all too well about complicated war votes. Dana Bash reports. Multiple Congressional sources tell CNN on the flurry of Syria conference calls, John Kerry is the administration's most passionate advocate for military action. But Kerry knows full well how dicey authorizing war is for lawmakers. "I actually did vote for the $87-billion, before I voted against it," said Kerry. Then Sen. Kerry's vote for the Iraq war and later, its funding, complicated his 2004 presidential run. And, he's not the only cautinary tale. "That if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare," Kerry said. Hillary Clinton's support for Iraq turned out to be her undoing in 2008 against anti-war Barack Obama. Though lawmakers weighing action now insist their decisions will not be political, Kerry and Clinton's experiences serve as haunting examples that what may seem right now, may look wrong in hindsight. "A lot of memories over another time when the president came, or at least the president's people came and said that this was slam dunk intelligence, and I think, of course, that was not an episode that most members would ever want to repeat," says Democratic Rep. James Himes of Connecticut. CNN is told that on an administration conference call, one House Democrat accused them of "historial amnesia," forgetting the lessons of Iraq and Vietnam. Kerry shot back he has a case for attacking Syria, "beyond a resonable doubt." But there are other reasons some lawmakers in both parties are highly skeptical about authorizing force in Syria. "We know that chemical weapons have been used in other instances and we did not take military action," says Democratoc Rep. Janice Hagn of California. "I am hoping to find an answer to the question: 'Is there another way to hold Assad accountable?'" Some don't see the need to defy opposition from their own constituents. "Certainly the mood in the district that i represent is, do no do this," says Republican Rep, Michael Burgess of Texas. To get enough yes's to pass, one thing is clearm this legislation the White House sent Congress Saturday night is too broad. "I think we're going to need to take a good, hard look at the wording to make sure it is limited in scope," says Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia. Democratic sources say plans are underway to make changes, limit the timeframe for military strikesm, and make crystal clear, no boots on the ground.
   
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