Obama’s Sneakiest Syria Maneuver
The Washington Post headline said it all: Congress may pass Obama’s Syria proposal — without technically voting on it.
The Post explained:
“[I]n their bid to win support for the Syrian rebel training, White House officials have asked congressional leaders to include the measure on a temporary government funding bill … In other words: Under the scenario that Obama favors, there is no standalone vote on the Syria proposal itself — it would just be written into the bigger bill.”
Even Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) 13%, an enthusiastic supporter of the President’s overall Syria strategy, called the legislative process outlined above the “sneakiest of all maneuvers.”
Sherman concluded by calling for “separate votes” to avoid the “silent conspiracy of [presidential] empowerment and shirking [congressional] responsibility.” Amazingly, there is bipartisan agreement that such a maneuver would be unconscionable.
The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Bucci — who saw service as an Army Special Forces officer and served as top official at the Pentagon during the Bush administration — told the Daily Signal, “As the representatives of the American people, the Congress ought to be able to show their support or principled opposition for military action without hiding it in the CR.”
Byron York’s column intimates the President’s motivations are partisan, with one Republican member telling him that his Democrat colleagues “want some protection…to be able to say, I only voted for it because we had to fund the government.” But Sherman’s position indicates there is room for a rare moment of bipartisan consensus: issues of war and peace should not be tacked on as an afterthought to a temporary, stopgap funding bill.
“It’s one of the most critical votes we have,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) 89% said yesterday. “I think, for most of us, we believe that this is such a critical issue, that it should be debated separately, and voted on separately.”