Obama announced Saturday that he is rightly taking the issue of Syria to Congress, so now people who stand to profit from the matter will have a vote.
There are ten members of Congress who own Raytheon shares, and seven of them are Republicans while three are Democrats. Raytheon is an international aerospace and defense company that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles many speculate would be used in Syria.
Their names via Open Secrets (scream if you think these folks should have to disclose this when they weigh in on matters related to their financial investments):
Campbell, John (R-CA)
Carper, Tom (D-DE)
Cohen, Steve (D-TN)
Fitzpatrick, Michael G (R-PA)
Hagan, Kay R (D-NC)
Hanna, Richard (R-NY)
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
Kingston, Jack (R-GA)
Renacci, Jim (R-OH)
Upton, Fred (R-MI)
Sen. Isakson has been pushing for action in Syria for two years. At a 2012 fundraiser, Isakson said, “Exactly how we do it and exactly when you pull that trigger is going to be a combination of a number of factors coming together.”
Rep. Fred Upton also supports an attack, but wants Congress to approve it, “The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians is atrocious and will not go unanswered by the international community. Anything beyond an expected multi-national effort to establish a no-fly zone over Syria must require the president to have prior approval of the House and Senate. It is certainly a critical area of the world containing massive U.S. interests, and a stern ‘red-line’ warning was given months ago.”
Raytheon donated more money to Mitt Romney in 2012 than to Obama, $143,806 to $89,788. They gave just under that to Republican Scott Brown, who took in $84,350. Their PACs, which gave 4 times more than individuals, gave a majority to Republicans.
You might be thinking that just ten members isn’t very many, but on issues of military action, ten can be enough to win the vote.
Even without the complication of personal financial interest getting the vote in Congress, it’s frightening to think of the petty House weighing in on any matter of importance, especially given their defunding of Libya just to get Obama (admitted to by Republicans). They then spent years blaming Obama for their own actions. It’s enough to make us wish we could put the House in time out while the grown ups make important decisions.
The delusional media acts as if this House would listen to Obama and then do the right thing. Can the media name an instance in the last 3 years when the Republican House did the right thing in a timely manner if Obama wanted it? It has not happened.
However, that’s no justification for not taking it to Congress. The President has bucked tradition and gone old school constitution on Congress by turning the decision over to them. He set a precedent that will put future Presidents in a tough spot, especially since both parties clamored for Obama to do this.
They thought that Obama would not want to do this, especially with the media repeating ad nauseam that Obama’s red line put him in a tough spot. Congress thought they’d save face by being able to avoid a vote on an unpopular military action while appearing as if they were pushing for the “right thing”. Obama wasn’t having any of it. He said he expects them to do their jobs. Cue the whining from the House that may have to do a day’s work in September now.
Obama didn’t let them off the hook, so now it’s up to Congress. We know they won’t do the right thing for the right reason, blinded as they are to hatred of this President and owned as they are by corporate influence. However they vote, it looks as if there are ten votes in the bag for the wrong reason.