Intel Chair: Obama Doesn't Have Votes to Authorize Syria Attack

September 8, 2013 - 12:48 PM

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.), who supports a U.S. military strike on Syria to punish that nation's government for using chemical weapons, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" today that President Barack Obama has not secured the votes in Congress to approve a resolution authorizing that use of military force.

Host Bob Schieffer asked Rogers: "I would just say at this point that I don't know anybody who thinks if the vote were held today that they would get this--that the Congress would go along. Do you disagree with that?"

"I can't disagree," said Rogers. "The only thing more confusing to me than what they Syria strategy has been in the last two years is their strategy to try to get buy in by the representatives in Congress and the American people. It is a confusing mess up to this point and that has been, I think, their biggest challenge on what is an incredibly important issue. And this cannot be about Barack Obama. It has to be about what is in the best interests of the United States of America. We have to have that debate and that discussion."

Rogers said that he found it "mystifying" that President Obama announced that he was going to seek a vote in Congress authorizing the use of force in Syria and then did not call Congress back into session but instead left the country for a week.

"Well, I think the way it happened was mystifying to me," said Rogers. "So the president announces it on a Saturday. Doesn't call Congress back. If you were going to do that, call them back for a serious national security debate. I think that had to happen. Review the evidence that we had so you could have a quick order of events. Instead he announced it and then left. He left the country for a week. And so members were back in their districts without access to the classified information they needed, I think, to come to a good conclusion."

Rogers concluded that he believes Obama has been losing the debate on the Syrian resolution.

"I think it is very clear he's lost support in the last week," said Rogers. "And, again, it's difficult to try to make a decision if you don't have access to the classified information. Not everybody could get back at the times that were stipulated for getting those briefings."