Backing their party’s president, Sen.
They include Barbara Lee, a Bay Area liberal, and
The new diplomatic initiative — Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles under international control to stave off U.S. military action — has given all of the delegation members a pass for now on what would be a politically tough vote.
It is tough in particular for the lawmakers who report that their constituents overwhelmingly oppose a U.S. military strike. “All of my colleagues have been inundated with phone calls, and almost unanimously, people don't want us to strike Syria,” freshman Rep.
Feinstein on Wednesday expressed hope that Syria would surrender its chemical weapons, but she also sought to build support for a military strike, if necessary.
“I hope that military force will not be needed, that we will allow the time for the
But in the
In one video, posted on the website of the
Feinstein said that she supports delaying a congressional vote to authorize a U.S. military strike on Syria to see whether the Russian proposal succeeds. But she told colleagues that "countries around the world will see the United States as a paper tiger when it promises to take action but fails to do so."
Obama's speech failed to sway some members of the California delegation.
Also unswayed was Rep.
"I do not believe the United States has justification to implement military force in Syria, as proposed legislation fails to precisely define a strategy, clearly state objectives, and does not garner widespread support from the international community," he said.
In 2002, when members of Congress voted in advance of U.S. action in Iraq, the partisan lines were far more absolute. Of the 32 California Democrats in the House, 24 voted against giving President
Rohrabacher, a yes vote on sending troops to Iraq, said he sees no U.S. national security interest in Syria.
Boxer, who has said that her vote against the Iraq war was her proudest moment, has said that a failure to act "gives Assad license to use these weapons again."