EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSenate Moves Forward But House Still Gathering Information
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Sep. 4, 2013 7:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 4, 2013 8:33 PM EDT
The first step toward U.S. Action in Syria has been taken. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a military strike in response to a chemical weapons attack last month.
The vote was 10-7 with one senator voting "present". The full upper chamber is expected to act on the proposal next week.
Meanwhile, House members are still gathering information. Even with President Obama's plan gaining momentum in the Senate it is expected to have a much rougher time in the House of Representatives.
There was a testy committee hearing today over whether the U.S. should get involved in the Syrian civil war.
The fact that a senate committee has advanced the president's request to authorize military action means very little in the house. The biggest concern appears to be whether a limited military strike would actually serve to drag the U.S. into a bigger role in the Syrian conflict.
Public opinion is also against American involvement with about 60% of those polled saying the country should stay out of Syria. West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall knows those numbers but he still supports military intervention.
"I believe this situation is unique," Rahall said. "We have a dictator here who has used weapons of chemical warfare against his own people. Those dictators in the past that have done that have not gotten away with it. And I do not believe that this Syrian dictator should get away with it. I believe there are repercussions if we do not act. Repercussions for America's credibility, but more importantly repercussions for our national security."
While Rahall approves of the president's plan, Republican representatives Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley are more reluctant. Capito said the president will have to make a strong case to change her mind, while McKinley said America should not act unless its security if directly threatened.
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