Jordan, Kaptur call for vote in Congress

House members want lawmakers to weigh in before Obama administration acts in Syria.
Tom Jackson
Sep 3, 2013
Erie County’s two U.S. House members — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo — both say they favor a vote in Congress before the Obama administration carries out a military strike in Syria.

Jordan was among 116 members of the U.S. House who signed a letter to the president arguing that the Constitution requires lawmakers to weigh in if there’s no immediate threat posed by Syria.

“If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict,” says the letter circulated by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va.

Jordan’s office released a statement to the Sandusky Register, explaining why he signed the letter.

“While protecting the flexibility our leaders need to respond to threats to our sovereignty and our interests, Congress plays an important role in our national security, and the American people deserve to know what our mission in Syria would be, how it would be conducted, when it would be completed, what would constitute victory, and how all of it fits with our policy interests in the region,” Jordan stated.

Kaptur did not sign the Rigell letter, which was mostly signed by Republican lawmakers. But Kaptur agrees that lawmakers should be allowed to debate military action, and that’s long been her position, said her spokesman, Steve Fought.

“No question, Congresswoman Kaptur believes Congress should meet, debate and vote if the president wants to conduct military action. She has been consistent in that view throughout her career and this case is no different,” Fought said. Kaptur is on vacation this week and has been unavailable for interviews. Britain’s main body in Parliament, the House of Commons, voted on the issue Thursday and handed a setback to British Prime Minister David Cameron. By a 285 to 272 vote, the British lawmakers voted against carrying out a military strike on Syria in cooperation with the U.S. Cameron, who had favored a military strike, said afterward that he’ll respect the outcome.



How the Rest of the World Views the American Military
Paul Waldman lays out a list of significant US military actions over the past 50 years, and it adds up to 15 separate episodes, ranging from full-scale wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) to smaller incursions (Grenada, Haiti, Panama). For those of you who are math challenged, this means we've launched a significant overseas assault every 40 months since 1963. Waldman explains what this means:

Darwin's choice

8 questions we should have firm answers on before attacking Syria

1. Is a vital national security interest threatened?

2. Do we have a clear attainable objective?

3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?

4. Have all other nonviolent policy means been fully exhausted?

5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?

6. Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?

7. Is the action supported by the American people?

8. Do we have genuine broad international support?