There are a few caveats, of course: individual members could still change theirs minds (as some have already done); the situation on the ground could change, recalibrating the political calculus; and final failure or passage of a resolution by the Senate could sway large swaths of House members. It should also be noted that no resolution has been introduced in the House yet, so members are taking positions on either the resolution passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or on the policy as generally described by the administrations.
The threshold for passing legislation in the House is currently 217, but unfavorable votes have quickly outpaced that number. Overall, Republicans make up the majority of the opposition to the Syrian resolution, with Democrats making up the majority of those still officially undecided and those who support the resolution yes. With only 40-plus House members on the record as supporting the resolution, it looks unlikely to pass there.
A few House Republicans, who seemed to favor military action before Obama asked for congressional approval, including Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Michael Grimm (R-NY), have switched to a "no" vote on Syria from either outright support or statements that seemed to favor military action of some kind. But even reliable Democratic allies have been less likely to support the president on Syria. Stalwart progressive Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Congressional Black Caucus ally Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) have both said they are unlikely to support the resolution.
Meanwhile, liberal Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and tea party Republican Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said last week that they were in talks to join forces on getting members to join them in opposing the resolution.
In the Senate, the way the vote will fall is less certain, with 10 senators having already voted "yes" on the resolution in committee and about 20 more making statements that indicate they will favor a resolution backing military action.
Democratic senators in conservative states, like Sens. Richard Pryor (D-AR) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), came out against the resolution over the weekend. Notably, Pryor faces a tough re-eleciton battle in 2014, and his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), said he would favor a military strike in Syria.
Public opinion has also turned decidedly against military action in Syria, with a Pew poll released Monday morning finding that opposition to a strike has increased from 48 percent to 63 percent in just one week. Republicans stand opposed to the measure by a margin of 70 opposed and 21 percent in favor. Over half of Republicans (51 percent) said they were strongly opposed to a strike.
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