The Washington Post

Republican congressman withdraws support for Syria strike

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who on Saturday said he supported President Obama's decision to launch military action in Syria, has changed his mind.

In a statement Thursday, Grimm says the window for action has now passed and that the feedback from his constituents has made him re-think his previous position.

"Thus, after much thought, deliberation and prayer, I am no longer convinced that a U.S. strike on Syria will yield a benefit to the United States that will not be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of war," Grimm said.

Grimm added: "Now that the Assad regime has seen our playbook and has been given enough time to prepare and safeguard potential targets, I do not feel that we have enough to gain as a nation by moving forward with this attack on our own."

The remarks stand in stark contrast to what Grimm said less than a week ago.

The Staten Island Advance quoted Grimm as saying he was "supporting the president on this."

"We have to keep our word; this is about our credibility," Grimm said. "We can't permit a precedent where there is a use of chemical weapons and there is no response."

Grimm is the 91st House member to express opposition to military action in Syria, along with 93 who have expressed skepticism. That means the ranks of those likely to vote against a use of force resolution is getting close to the 217 that will be required to defeat it.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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