House Whip McCarthy ‘Not There Yet’ On Syria Decision

AP

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Tuesday that he wasn’t entirely convinced by the case for the use of military force against Syria, saying he needed more information before voting whether to approve intervention.

“I’m not there yet,” McCarthy told Bakersfield television station KGET after meeting with members of Congress and administration officials on the subject. “I thought today’s meeting was very productive. But I still have some concerns and questions that I need answered.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters following that meeting that he supported President Barack Obama’s plan to use limited military strikes in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, calling on his fellow members of Congress to do the same.

“I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action,” Boehner said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also announced shortly after the meeting that he would vote in favor of the military force option.

Update: McCarthy spokeswoman Erica Elliott released the following statement to TPM:

“The meeting today at the White House with the President and congressional leaders was both productive and informative. Whip McCarthy is weighing the information and intelligence presented to him by the President and his national security team. The President must continue to make the case for military action to the American people and the Congress. Absent a clear sense of what we must do, and what the mission is, it is difficult to formulate an appropriate and effective resolution authorizing the President to use military force against the Assad regime.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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