In tense exchange, Kerry accuses House Republican of playing politics with Syria (Video)

September 10, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday accused a House Republican of playing politics with Syria during a tense exchange.

After Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) pressed Kerry at a House Armed Services Committee hearing about whether Congress is delaying a vote because the votes aren't there to support a resolution, Kerry grew tired of the exchange.

"Look, do you want to play politics in here, or do you want to get a policy in place?" Kerry said, adding: "The policy that could be put in place is to try to get this particular option of getting control of chemical weapons in place. If you want to undermine that, then play the politics."

Miller then asked the committee's chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), to instruct Kerry to limit his answers to the questions asked.

Miller later asked about why the administration wants to strike Syria but not North Korea, which also has chemical weapons stockpiles. Kerry began to answer and then was cut off by Miller.

"But you don't really want answers, do you?" Kerry responded.

"I'm limited on my time, but you're not, sir," Miller shot back.

"I'm trying to give you an answer," Kerry said with a wry smile.

"This is not the Senate; we do not filibuster," Miller responded.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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