Pelosi Urges House Democrats to Back Military Intervention in Syria

Image: Pelosi Urges House Democrats to Back Military Intervention in Syria

Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 10:32 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is continuing to beat the drum for support of President Obama’s plan for a military strike against Syria by spotlighting the limitations laid out in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s use-of-force resolution, reports The Hill.

In a public letter to House Democrats Thursday — her third of the week — Pelosi drove home the point that the Senate proposal “addresses some of the concerns expressed by many of our House members.”

“Specifically, the resolution prevents boots on the ground, ties the authorization more closely to the use of chemical and other weapons of mass destruction, and has a limited timetable,” Pelosi wrote.

The trio of letters makes clear just how high the stakes of the Syria vote are for Obama and other leading Democrats, who are seeking authorization from Congress to use military strikes in response to the Aug. 21 chemical attack that is believed to have been carried out by the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad.

Those in favor of military intervention see it as a way to send a global message that the use of chemical weapons carries serious consequences.

“I can’t say that it isn’t something that I didn’t know before, but I certainly do think that it’s a sign of strength,” Pelosi told Time magazine this week, referring to the president's decision to bring a Syria resolution to Congress.

“I would say he’s a tough hombre.”

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are under growing pressure to deliver enough votes to pass the president's resolution, particularly since the number of House Republicans opposed to military intervention appears to have grown significantly this week.

The influence Pelosi's letters are having on her caucus remains to be seen.

Although more than 20 House Democrats have announced their support for U.S. military intervention, even more have announced their opposition, and a large number say they're still on the fence.

“The fact remains that a significant number of our constituents are in opposition to the use of force, and that is something that we have to weigh heavily in making our decision,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Thursday.

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