Opposition To Syria Resolution Adding Up In The House

The House of Representatives is likely to be the biggest hurdle that the resolution authorizing force in Syria will face, and it’s not looking good so far:

[W]hether or not the resolution winds up passing in the Senate, the real hurdle remains in the GOP-controlled House. And things on that front are looking progressively dimmer for the Obama administration.

Over the last two days, scores of members — most of them Republicans, but many of them Democrats — have expressed their opposition to the use of force in Syria.

According to The Fix’s handy-dandy whip count, the ranks of the opposition more than doubled from 34 on Tuesday morning to 83 by Wednesday night.

If you add up the confirmed and leaning “No’s” in the Post’s count, you get to 174 votes out of the 218 needed to block the resolution. By contrast, the confirmed and leaning “yes” votes currently add up to just 19 votes. That still leaves some 242 members who have not weighed in on the matter, of course. However, the trend right now clearly seems to be leaning against passage.

More from The Fix:

[I]t has become increasingly clear that a significant majority of House Republicans is likely to oppose the resolution. That means we are headed not just for questions about whether it would pass, but also about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who supports the use of force — would bring it to a vote in violation of the so-called “Hastert Rule,” which requires a majority of the majority party to support a bill for it to be brought to a vote.

Given the strong demand for congressional input from both advocates and opponents of military action, it seems there’s at least a fair chance he will. Even if Boehner were to bring it to a vote, though, the minority Democrats would need to be pretty close to united, according to our current count. As of now, that’s not that case, with 22 Democrats expressing opposition and 24 more expressing skepticism.

The other possibility, of course, is that the resolution passes, but with a very slim majority. In that case, we’d be heading into action against Syria with a significant part of the Federal Government opposing the action. That’s not likely to help the President persuade other nations to join the effort.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Military Affairs, National Security, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mikey says:

    Here’s a story on some of the guys we’ll be helping out by bombing Assad’s stuff. Charming bunch, eh?

    Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West

    The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.

    “For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”

    The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.

    It’s OK, though–Secretary of State Kerry assures us that only 20% of the rebels are like this.

  2. Franklin says:

    Holy crap, the tea party libertarian types may actually help save us here. If they do, I’ll take back every one bad thing I said about them.

  3. Scott says:

    @Franklin: Agreeing with some of the whackos in the House is giving me pause wondering where my thinking is wrong. Very disorienting.

  4. Rob in CT says:

    Whether it’s partisanship or principle, I don’t care. The result is what matters. Vote it down, boys ‘n girls!

  5. Grumpy says:

    Franklin- Scott, good to see you’re starting to think for yourselves..

    There’s a considerable amount of information available that indicates John Kerry may being less than honest

    There are videos of the rebels firing short range rocket with gas canisters

    Turkey arrested a dozen Syrian fighters trying to smuggle saran across the border

    One of the pictures used was from a Saddam gas attack that happened in Iraq

    There’s photographic evidence Rebel Chemical captured by the Syrian Army

    The Administration wanted to get involved after a attack back in May – the UN said hold on, we think the rebels did it – No Kerry tells us the UN isn’t allow to say things like that, and to pay no attention.

    Outside of Kerry, Obama and John McCain who posed with know terrorists in Syria at a photo shoot,, very few people on the planet believe al Qaeda isn’t a much bigger part of the rebel force than Kerry wants us to believe..

    After McCain was told he’s posed with terrorists the comment was something like How was I to know they were terrorist? Not a good indication we actually know who we are dealing with

  6. bandit says:

    Barack Obama – ‘I bombed some people in Damascus, just to watch’em die’

  7. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:


    Turkey arrested a dozen Syrian fighters trying to smuggle saran across the border

    Turkish authority figure: “That’s a…” (puts on sunglasses) “…wrap.”

  8. Tlaloc says:

    Interestingly I predicted that Obama’s nomnation in 2008 would effectively and unfortunately end the dem’s opposition to the war on terror, torture of helpless prisoners, and destruction of civil rigts started under Bush. I was, of course, right. A majority of dems proved utter hypocrites on all three topics.

    What never occured to me was that the right wuld become so blinkered by hatred of a black president that it would actually turn anti-interventionist (at least so long as Obama is the president). The concept that they might not celebrate any chance to kill brown people was just unimaginable.

    Unsettling, startling, and very very welcome.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Both the current regime and the rebel forces are odious. As much as it disturbs me to know that Assad has used chemical weapons to kill his people, I do not for one minute believe that the forces arrayed to replace him are any more desirable.

    I am urging my representative to vote “No” on this one.

  10. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda: There is no doubt in my mind the rebels would use chemical weapons if given the opportunity. Perhaps they already have.

    Take a look at the news story to which I linked above. In addition to executing prisoners (itself a heinous violation of both President Obama’s precious “international norms” and international law), a whole bunch of the rebels want to set up an Islamic territory that spans much of Syria’s eastern desert and Iraq’s Anbar province. I’m sure Iraq’s government will just sit idly while that happens…bwahahahahaha.

  11. Franklin says:


    There is no doubt in my mind the rebels would use chemical weapons if given the opportunity.

    That’s a striking way to put it.

  12. William Wilgus says:

    Doug Mataconis: A good, well-written article. Thank you.

  13. Terry says:

    Like I said a thousand times. This POS Parasite brings out the worst in me. In the 57 Years I have been on this earth I have NEVER Hated any Person as much as I hate this Tyrant. Our hero’s in Benghazi were slaughtered and this POS Muslim Bastard did Nothing to help them but now that Some of this TYRANTS Muslim Friends are being killed he wants to shed American Blood, GO FUCK YOURSELF OBAMA! And vote OUT anyone who give’s this fucking Maggot approval for Military strikes against Syria…. WE THE PEOPLE will be watching how you Cowards in the House of Representatives Vote on this issue You People better listen to WE THE PEOPLE OR Start Looking for a new job. Because You will NOT be returning to your cushy job you currently have. You better Remember YOU WORK FOR THE PEOPLE! NOT THE TYRANT IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

  14. Pinky says:

    “…would bring it to a vote in violation of the so-called “Hastert Rule,” which requires a majority of…”

    That’s horrible writing (I know, that was the WaPo, not Doug). “Violation” and “requires” imply some sort of official status to the Hastert Rule. There is no such regulation as the Hastert Rule, and Rep. Boehner would be wrong to invoke it during a debate about foreign policy.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    Good. Why are Obama and Kerry playing silly buggers with this one? The only thing I can think of is to placate AIPAC and the hawks.

    As said, contact your congresscritters!

  16. Rick Almeida says:


    You sound like an astute, thoughtful person, and I would like to sign up for your newsletter.

  17. al-Ameda says:


    Like I said a thousand times. This POS Parasite brings out the worst in me. In the 57 Years I have been on this earth I have NEVER Hated any Person as much as I hate this Tyrant.

    And yet, a completely unnecessary war in Iraq that resulted in the death of 4 thousand American lives, cost over $1 Trillion, and caused a shift of power in the region to Iran – apparently caused you no consternation whatsoever.

    Evidently 57 years has resulted in an imbalanced perspective.

  18. anjin-san says:

    @ al-Ameda

    The horror of Benghazi, unprecedented in world history, has driven a lot of good men insane…

  19. Rob in CT says:

    Keep you eyes on the ball, folks. Terry may be unhinged. So what? There is some portion of the population that is always that bugf*ck crazy. Celebrate the fact that in this one instance, like the proverbial broken clock, Terry’s right (to oppose intervention).

    To add to the bit about executing prisoners, there has been ethnic cleansing (of Kurds, if I recall correctly), reports of using chemical weapons or trying to use chemical weapons, and of course your bog standard Islamist extremism. If the rebel forces win, I’d say there’s a better than even chance Syria transitions from a Baathist Dictatorship to a Sunni Muslim Theocracy, accompanied by the butchering of large numbers of non-Sunni Syrians.

    We do not want the rebels to win, folks. We don’t want Assad to win either.

    Maybe, just maybe, we ought to figure we don’t get to choose. It’ll end in tears either way.

  20. Rob in CT says:

    As to the topic, my Rep is still in the undecided column. 1 of my 2 senators has done me proud (Murphy), and the other is undecided. I’ve communicated with all of them, for what it’s worth (very little, but more than nothing).

    I worry most about my Rep. He’s all red-white & blue and I saved jobs to the district by getting the navy to buy another sub from Electric Boat and keep Groton sub base open, yay. Ugh. Hopefully, he’ll surprise me.

  21. Steve V says:

    @Rob in CT: I don’t know … Syria’s a client/ally of Iran, a Shia state. Would Iran countenance a Sunni government that persecutes non-Sunnis? This is a ridiculously complicated situation, a fact that argues against close US involvement (but I guess it’s too late for that).

  22. 河西智美 水着