Published August 31, 2013
President Obama apparently is leaving the door open to moving ahead with a military strike on Syria even if Congress votes against it, adding to the confusion over the president’s evolving position.
The president, in a surprise decision Saturday, announced he would seek a vote in Congress on launching a military attack against the Assad regime.
One senior State Department official, though, told Fox News that the president’s goal to take military action will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes to approve the use of force.
Other senior administration officials said Obama is merely leaving the door open to that possibility. They say he would prefer that Congress approve a military attack on the Assad regime, in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, and will wait to see what Congress does before making any final decisions on authorizing military force.
Yet the possibility that Obama would move ahead without the support of Congress is sure to stir confusion among lawmakers, who had – for the most part – applauded his decision to seek their input first, though others claimed he was “abdicating his responsibility” by punting to Congress. It would raise questions about why he decided to seek congressional input at all, after having moved military assets into position immediately, and then waited days and possibly weeks for a debate in Washington.