One of the loudest anti-war voices in the U.S. Congress as they debate a military strike in Syria has been Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He’s been fervently against any action from the start, and explicitly laid out his belief that President Obama must get Congress’ approval – as is written in the constitution – before engaging in a war.
While it may seem like Paul is kind of alone, he is gaining some support, as evidenced by his recent bipartisan strategic meeting. From Kate Nocera of Buzzfeed:
“Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul held a bipartisan strategy session on Tuesday with about 30 members of the House and Senate who oppose using military force in Syria.
While a new diplomatic Russian proposal to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons stockpile to the international community could prevent a congressional vote on striking Syria, Paul said it was important for members to come together to keep up their vocal efforts in opposition to a strike.”
At the meeting, according to the report, were a handful of Democratic Representatives, including Mark Pocan (Wisconsin), Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Alan Grayson (Florida), and Rick Nolan (Minnesota). Paul noted that he’s hopeful more Democrats will show up at the next meeting, which they’ve talked about holding next week.
What a concept, right? Congressmen not worrying about party lines, and getting together to talk about issues that matter…But I digress.
Paul explained what his goal was with the bipartisan session.
“’It’s a beginning, and the way things work around here, the caucuses put pressure on you,’ Paul said. ‘So we wanted to have something that would invigorate those who are opposed to talk to their colleagues because what will happen in both caucuses, both Republican and Democrat caucus, the fervor will be whipped up to support this and they’ll be told things only by one side. It helps to get people together to reinforce each other.’”
The Democratic Senate will likely vote ‘Yes’ on authorizing President Obama to use military force in Syria, but only limited strikes and for a limited amount of time. The Republican-controlled House will be the question mark, and this strategic meeting is another step Paul has taken to try to rally a ‘No’ voting bloc from the Representatives.
In conclusion, though, how refreshing it would be to have a president with the desire to bring the parties together. Plan on it in 2016!
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