House Homeland Security chief says he'd vote 'no' on Syria

Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Thursday if the vote to strike Syria were held that day, he’d vote no.

The congressman predicted House Republicans are also unlikely to vote in favor, The Houston Chronicle reported. He made his position clear on two radio shows.

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“I can tell you in the House it’s going to be a heavy lift for the administration to get this thing passed,” McCaul said on KSEV’s Edd Hendee Show.

McCaul questioned administration officials about the situation at Wednesday’s House Foreign Affairs hearing. He argued most people don’t think it’s in the U.S.'s interest to get entangled in Syria’s civil war, especially since some rebel groups are affiliated with al Qaeda.

“[Americans] kind of see it as two junkyard dogs fighting,” McCaul said. “Why do you want to get in the middle of that? You’re just going to get bit.”

He also said on KLBJ News Radio he hasn’t received a single call from a constituent supporting military action, and said he can’t support any mission either that would aid al Qaeda.

“I can’t support anything in good conscious that’s going to embolden a real enemy and that’s al Qaeda and the jihadists,” he said.

“[Syrian President Bashar Assad], as bad as he is, has never pointed those weapons at Americans or at the interest of the United States, but al Qaeda, certainly, if given the chance, would do so and I think that’s the worst possible outcome that we could have.”

When asked about whether the "no boots on the ground" promise can be kept, he said, “To secure those weapons, you’re going to have a presence on the ground in Syria.”


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