U.S. News


Senate Probably Approving ISIS Plan, Despite Grumbling

The Senate is expected to follow the example of the House in voting to authorize the president's ISIS plan, but the vote will have its dissidents.
Posted at 9:52 AM, Sep 18, 2014

PRESIDENT OBAMA, THE WHITE HOUSE: "Hello everybody! It is a perfect night for a picnic! ... I want to start out by saying thank you to house members, republican and democrat..."

The president appeared to be in a good mood Wednesday afternoon, after the House voted to authorize part of his plan for training and arming Syrian rebels against ISIS. Now it'll head to the Senate, where it's expected to pass as well. (Video via C-SPAN)

But in the House, the plan wasn't without its dissidents — many of whom were Democrats — and there's likely to be some naysayers in the Senate as well. In fact, there already are.

On Wednesday, the bulk of the criticism for the president's plan came in the form of Republican senators grilling Secretary of State John Kerry about whether the U.S. would engage Syrian government forces as well. (Video via U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: "Then if the only way, if the military experts say—

SECRETARY KERRY: "I'm not going to deal with hypotheticals."

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: "Well it's not a hypothetical, it appears to be, quite frankly, we're relying on a military strategy built on rebels who at this point are under assault not just by ISIL but by the Assad regime." 

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: "I hope there's two prongs, and not 'ISIL first.' That that message is not given to these brave people we're asking to sacrifice."

SECRETARY KERRY: "Well if we don't stop ISIL first there may not be much left of the other prong."

SEN JOHN MCCAIN: "That means we can't take on two adversaries at once. That's bogus and false." 

But despite some Republicans loudly saying the plan falls short, and Democrats loudly saying they don't trust the rebels, the measure is still widely expected to pass, quietly.

DANA BASH, CNN: "The Senate, they're not likely to take this kind of independent vote, they're probably just going to fold it — frankly, hide it — in a bill to fund the government before they leave town, Wolf."

WOLF BLITZER: "Then get out of town as quickly as they possibly can." 

So despite the opposition, the Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday. You know, before they "quickly" get out of town to work on their re-election campaigns.