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Vote isn't UNTIL September 9th??? Vacations are more important than BOMBS.......

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09/01/2013 06:10 PM
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Vote isn't UNTIL September 9th??? Vacations are more important than BOMBS.......
Congress back Sept. 9

The proposal would empower Obama to order military action to “prevent or deter the use or proliferation” of chemical or biological weapons “within, to or from Syria” and to “protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.”

Still, White House officials indicated Obama might still authorize force even if Congress rejects it.

As Syrian forces braced for attack, the president’s decision effectively put it off for more than a week, because Congress is not due back in Washington until Sept. 9. Obama did not push Congress to come back sooner, and House leaders opted to keep to their schedule. Senate leaders were considering coming back Friday for a weekend of debate.

In the interim, though, lawmakers will be in their home states, where polls show their constituents are not eager to attack Syria. “One constituent said to me, ‘It is horrendous that these children were killed, but they are being killed in other ways also. What’s the difference?’ ” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Obama’s decision also means that the period of vacillation before a strike will extend until after he travels to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a meeting of the Group of 20 nations, a session that now seems certain to be dominated by the question of what to do about Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the host of the meeting, has effectively blocked U.N. action; on Saturday, he suggested the suspected chemical attack was a provocation by rebels intended to draw the United States into their war against Assad.

The president’s announcement — televised live in the United States and on Syrian state television with translation — represents a significant political risk. If Congress defeats the proposal, Obama could emerge as a weakened leader, finding it even more difficult to push his proposals through Congress, including his top priorities of passing a budget and rewriting the nation’s immigration laws.

“Ultimately, I think he felt he was going to be a target from both the left and the right if he did it alone, and with few significant allies overseas, I don’t think he wanted to be isolated,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York.

“This puts the ball in Congress’s court and they either join and he gets policy and political cover or they oppose,” Miringoff said.

Administration officials said Obama would not rule out acting on his own if lawmakers fail to act. If that happened, he would only further antagonize a divided Congress that already rejects many of his proposals.

[link to mobile.seattletimes.com]