The Richmond Register

State News

September 6, 2013

Rogers leaning against vote to attack Syria

LONDON — Kentucky Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, is leaning against voting to authorize military action against Syria.

“I’m leaning toward voting no, but I want to hear the case before making a final decision,” Rogers said Friday during a visit here.

Rogers was here Friday to meet with the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee about Operation UNITE, a drug enforcement, education and treatment program he founded and which has put a sizeable dent in the widespread substance abuse problem in southeastern Kentucky.

He spent some time talking with Kentucky Adjutant General Edward Tonini about the crisis in Syria and what the president’s call for a response.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are trying to persuade Congress to authorize a “limited, targeted” strike against Syria after the regime of Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on its own citizens during the civil war there.

During a press conference Friday in Russia where the president is attending the G-20 Summit of western leaders and Russia, Obama conceded he knew securing the support of the war-weary American people and Congress would “be a hard sell.”

The measure is thought to have a better chance in the Democratic controlled Senate where it has already passed the Foreign Affairs Committee. But the measure faces stiff opposition in the Republican House, including many who have previously called for U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, has already said he will vote against the measure while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville hasn’t said how he plans to vote.

The Republican opposition seems if anything to be growing in the House despite the open support of Republican Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, both of whom have been briefed by the White House.

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