House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that he’ll back President Obama on the potential for military intervention in Syria.
Though often at odds on most (if not all) issues, Boehner endorsed the president’s call for military strikes in Syria, a response to a revelation that the Assad administration had used chemical weapons on Syrian people, killing over 1,000.
“I am going to support the president’s call for action,” Boehner told reporters. “I believe my colleagues should support this call for action.”
President Obama has pledged to await Congress’ approval of limited military strikes against Assad’s regime, but it might not be that simple. Congress is sharply divided on the issue, and not even along party lines.
However, Boehner’s endorsement of President Obama’s initiative may change the minds of Republican holdouts. Immediately after Boehner’s meeting, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor publicly backed military strikes, as well.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also approves of military intervention in Syria, though on a “humanitarian” basis. She joined other critics of immediate action, calling for a deeper investigation and more evidence against Assad to strengthen the case for intervention.
“I believe the American people need to hear more about the intelligence that supports this action,” she said.
If Boehner and Cantor manage to change enough minds within their own party, approval of strikes in Syria could survive a contentious congressional vote. The House of Representatives lately has a reputation of being where most of President Obama’s plans and proposals go to die. With Boehner’s announcement today, it seems as though that will not be the case with Syria.