Majority of House leaning ‘no’ on Syria resolution

September 6, 2013

A majority of House members are now on the record as either against or leaning against authorizing President Obama to use military force against Syria, according to the latest whip count from the Washington Post.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 223 members in the "no" or "leaning no" category, more than the 217 that would be needed to sink the resolution. (The threshold for passage in the House is 217 votes, rather than the usual 218, since there are currently two vacancies.)

While the opposition is led by Republicans, the 106 opponents include 25 Democrats. Another 37 Democrats lean against supporting the use of force, meaning more than 30 percent of the House Democratic caucus is negatively predisposed toward the resolution.

The resolution remains in much better shape in the Senate, where just 15 senators have expressed outright opposition – four of them Democrats – and another 10 lean no. A majority of senators are currently undecided.

To be clear, this count is a moving target. While it's hard to imagine many of the hard "no's" reversing course, those leaning no or undecided could well come around to the president's side by the time the actual vote in the House is held -- which is expected to be in two weeks time. President Obama is set to address the country on Tuesday night, a speech the White House hopes will reverse the tide on the resolution in Congress.

Still, it's clear that a week that began on a hopeful note for Obama -- when he won the support of Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the resolution -- has ended with an increasingly dire vote count staring him in the face.

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Sean Sullivan | September 6, 2013