McCain Opposes Limited Senate Syria Resolution
Senator John McCain said today that he opposes the limited use of force authorized that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider today:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Wednesday told NBC News that he doesn’t support Senate language authorizing President Obama’s desired military intervention in Syria because it is too limited.
“In its current form, I do not” support the new draft of the resolution, McCain said. That draft was released late Tuesday; it prohibits combat operations on the ground and limits Obama to a 90-day window in which he could use use force against the Syrian regime.
McCain said the resolution doesn’t mention his top policy priorities in Syria.
“There’s no reference to changing the momentum on the battlefield, there’s no reference to arming the Free Syrian Army,” he said, referencing a Syrian rebel group with which he’s worked.
Losing support from McCain would be a blow to the White House — the administration had worked hard to woo him and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Both fall on the hawkish side of the Republican Party spectrum, favoring stronger intervention in Syria than just limited strikes.
It’s possible that this is just McCain posturing in the run-up to today’s Committee hearing and that he’ll end up supporting whatever the Committee sends to the Senate floor. One problem it raises, though, is the potential that McCain and others in the Senate may try to force changes to the resolution that give the President broader authority in a way that damages the chances it will pass in the House.