On Tuesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul announced that he is considering filibustering the Senate’s vote on the Syria war authorization
At least one politician is—quite-literally—standing up for his constituent’s beliefs. Calls to his office are more than 10-to-1 against intervention.
Recent polls show that the American public is against both strikes involving U.S. planes flying over Syria, and deploying ground troops. A Reuters poll conducted last week found that only 28 percent agreed with President Obama’s decision to intervene in the Syrian civil war.
The cost of ships, warplanes, and the missiles for strikes and follow-up strikes could easily cost taxpayers billions of dollars. General Martin Dempsey added that a no-fly zone over parts of Syria could cost $1 billion per month.
Paul warned that an attack on Syria could destabilize the region, endanger Israel, and injure our relations with Russia and Iran. It also has the potential to drag the U.S. into a larger war. He accused his Senate colleagues of being “out of touch” with public opinion.
In the political equivalent of the game of rock-paper-scissors, filibusters are fire. In March, Paul endeared many and angered some by conducting a marathon filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA. He stood for 13 hours to speak out against the Obama administration’s liberal use of drones in assassinations of suspected terrorists, and the extrajudicial killing of Americans. Opponents criticized Paul for staging his filibuster as a glorified publicity stunt.
Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved a war resolution last night by a vote of 10-7. Some GOP senators view Wednesday morning’s meeting called under a shortened timeline as evidence that Senate Democrats are trying to rush a war authorization without regard to the rule governing the way legislation goes through the committee process. This means that Senate Majority Harry Reid can bring the measure to the floor as early as Monday.
This war resolution would be voted on before House members have a chance to craft and pass their own resolution. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he thinks that the best chance to prevent war lies with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
One GOP Senate aide called the move “a rush to war behind closed doors.” The aide also feared that the action would prevent Congress from having a thoughtful debate about whether the U.S. should authorize Obama’s war in Syria.
If Reid brings the measure to the floor on Monday, the Senate could vote would occur Wednesday morning.