In a speech to the nation Tuesday, President Obama will make his case for a U.S. military strike on Syria. Regardless of what the president says, some members of Kentucky’s federal delegation already have their minds made up.
Republican Congressman Thomas Massie says he will vote against any resolution authorizing military force against Syria for its government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. For one thing, Massie says he’s uncomfortable with the language in the president’s proposal.
"It's not limited geographically, it's not limited by type of engagement, and it's not limited by who we can engage, not just the Syrians," contends Massie.
Massie contends the civil war in Syria is not a matter of U.S. national security. Massie is joined by Congressman Ed Whitfield as solid “no” votes. U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers, and Andy Barr, all GOP members, are still contemplating.
Kentucky’s only Democratic Congressman, John Yarmuth, remains undecided, as well. However, a spokesman for the Louisville Democrat told WKU Public Radio on Friday that Yarmuth is leaning toward “no.” If that's the case, WKU Political Scientist Scott Lasley says it would be a gutsy political move.
"Normally, John Yarmuth would be an automatic 'no' vote for this type of action. However, people take bucking the president seriously. and the consequences are real and significant," explains Lasley.
On the Senate side, Republican Rand Paul is against military action in Syria, while GOP Leader Mitch McConnell remains mum on how he'll vote.