Reflecting the uphill battle President Barack Obama faces in obtaining Congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria, Congressman Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., announced Thursday that he is withdrawing his support from the president plan.
Grimm, a former FBI agent and Marine combat veteran, noted that he initially supported immediate, targeted strikes against Syria in response to the Assad regime's alleged used chemical weapons.
"I believed that the reputation and credibility of the United States was on the line and that we had to send a strong message that the use of chemical weapons is reprehensible and will not be tolerated," Grimm said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, the time to act was then and the moment to show our strength has passed," he added. "As debate has dragged on in Congress, the President has weakened his position as our leader and deteriorated our credibility on the world stage."
Grimm cited Obama's remarks changing his red line to the world's red line as part of the reason for his change of heart as well as the president's inability to gain the support of key allies.
The New York Congressman also argued that delaying the strikes has given the Assad regime enough time to prepare and safeguard potential targets.
"Additionally I have heard from many constituents who strongly oppose unilateral action at a time when we have so many needs here at home," Grimm said.
He added, "Thus, after much thought, deliberation and prayer, I am no longer convinced that a U.S. strike on Syria will yield a benefit to the United States that will not be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of war."
Discussing his withdrawal of support on CNN, Grimm claimed that no one on either side of the aisle pressured him to change his position.
According to CNN, 115 House members have indicated that they will vote against a resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria compared to just 23 that have said they will vote in favor of the resolution. Most members of Congress are undecided.
On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 in favor of a resolution authorizing the strikes, and the full Senate is expected to vote on the resolution early next week.
by RTT Staff Writer
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