SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB/AP) — President Obama will address the American people Tuesday night, trying to get support for a U.S. military strike on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack last month.
Surveys have shown a significant number of House Republicans and Democrats opposed to military action or leaning against it, but officials in the leadership say it’s premature to say the resolution can’t be approved.
Mass. 1st District Congressman Richard Neal would prefer the United States not go it alone in Syria.
Neal says, “I think that many of us remain very skeptical about the potential outcome and we wish to avoid anything that would potentially widen the engagement.”
President Obama conceded Friday that he might not convince a majority of Americans that a military strike is the right move.
Congressman Neal adds that there’s good reason for that, “You have here sort of the remnants of weapons of mass destruction. And America has been engaged in two wars now north of eleven years, the longest engagement in our history, so I think the appetite is fairly limited in America.”
At this stage, just a third of the House and Senate members have been given classified briefings. The entire Congress will be briefed Monday or Tuesday.
President Obama says it’s still up to members of Congress to decide. He’s not saying whether he’d go ahead with an attack if Congress votes no. C
Congressman Neal doesn’t think the President would do that, saying, “I think that what happened in Great Britain about ten days ago, where Prime Minister Cameron’s position was rejected, had a chilling effect on Democratic nations. You’ll recall that there was no closer ally to the US during the foray into Iraq than Great Britain and it cost Tony Blair his job. And I think the result of which is that the Brits, like so many other European nations, become more skeptical about armed intervention.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid formally introduced a resolution giving President Obama the authority to use military force against Syria on Friday. Lawmakers return from their five-week recess on Monday and will begin to debate the resolution. A vote is expected on Wednesday