The newest developments with Syria have diverted a congressional vote on a military strike.
During a nationally-televised address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama said his administration would consider Syria’s offer to give up its chemical weapons with United Nations oversight. Despite that, the president continued justifying his call for military action, saying the nation’s “ideals and principles, as well as our national security, is at stake.”
In the meantime, the president asked Congress to postpone a vote on military strikes to see if a diplomatic solution could be reached.
Fourth District Congressman Trey Gowdy had already made up his mind on how he would vote, despite the speech.“No, for a plethora of reasons, and that was confirmed (Monday) night when the administration sent both Secretary’s of Defense and State, Ambassador Rice and James Clapper, as well as General Dempsey, before the House to debrief us and make the case,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “And the case wasn’t made. In fact, if anything, I think there are more yes’s turning to no then there are no’s turning to yes’s.”
Gowdy said his constituents have made their position clear.
“The next person to encourage me to vote for the use of force in Syria will be the first person. Not one single person. I have never had any issue where it was without some division of support. Not one single person in Greenville or Spartanburg.”
Republican congressmen Joe Wilson, Mark Sanford, and Jeff Duncan also say they would vote no to use military force. Senator Lindsey Graham has been pushing for retaliation, but has not committed to the president’s plan. Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, along with Republicans Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, and Rep. Tom Rice have not made it clear how they would vote.
Gowdy argues that the United States cannot take any action without a Middle East strategy.
“I would like to see the president go to Russia and China and say, ‘Look, I’m going to give you an opportunity to work with us to get the Middle East under control. Just understand, if you do not work with us we’re going to do it ourselves. You are welcome to be part of it,’” says the congressman.
Gowdy says the president’s approach in this did not convince him.