Congressional Republicans and conservative pundits have called on the White House to arm Syrian rebels for years, but now that President Obama is officially asking for authorization to do so, they oppose it.
According to the Associated Press, House Republicans have “rebuffed” President Obama’s request for approval to equip Syrian rebels in their fight against Assad and ISIS. The White House reportedly asked for the “authority to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian regime.”
To understand why this is stupid as my choice of image above suggests, you have to understand that congressional Republicans from John McCain to Rand Paul have argued that we should arm the regional opposition.
You can go all the way back to the summer of 2012 and find former presidential candidate Mitt Romney calling for arming Syrian rebels.
You can go back even further to February of 2012 and find Lindsey Graham and John McCain calling for arming the Syrian rebels, but now that President Obama is prepared to do so they may no longer support it.
You could say that’s par for the course.
I expect the president will be given the congressional approval he’s seeking, but not before House Republicans and Senate Republicans stop playing grab-ass and settle the argument between the two chambers. There’s also a possibility that House Republicans will attach inappropriate and unncessary amendments or riders to any bill that authorizes the president’s actions which will delay final passage.