It happened fast enough that there was relatively little public discussion beyond that which followed the president’s speech last week, but yesterday the House authorized the administration to provide training and assistance to Syrian rebels in what will nonetheless almost certainly be remembered as a vote to approve whatever happens next.
The voting split was interesting, with Republicans supporting the measure (technically an amendment to a short-term funding extension for federal government operations) 159-71 and Democrats supporting it 114-85. I haven’t seen a precise breakdown yet, but it appears that Republican opponents were split between those opposing the intervention altogether and those opposing the limited nature of the authorization (including those wanting “boots on the ground”), while Democrats voting “no” were generally opposed to what some have called a Third Iraq War. The Senate is expected to approve the measure today, before Congress leaves Washington for its pre-election recess.
I’m sure we’ll have more about this vote and its implications later today and tomorrow.