Grimm Flips to ‘Nay’ on Syria Attack

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:23pm

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., announced Thursday that he will withdraw his support for a U.S. military strike against the Syrian government.

The second-term lawmaker and Marine combat veteran’s reversal signals the volatile nature of any attempt to handicap upcoming House votes on a White House-backed resolution to intervene in Syria.

But anyone keeping track knows that losing another vote in favor of military action is a blow to the resolution’s chances of passing the chamber, where its fate is currently less certain than in the Senate.

Read Grimm’s full statement below:

“When President Obama announced his plans to strike Syria in response to the discovery that the Assad regime used chemical weapons to kill thousands of men, women and children; my initial reaction, as a Marine combat veteran, was to stand by the Commander in Chief and support immediate, targeted strikes. 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. Unfortunately, the time to act was then and the moment to show our strength has passed.

As debate has dragged on in Congress, the President has weakened his position as our leader and deteriorated our credibility on the world stage. The President has changed his red line to the world’s red line, he showed his hand when he should have kept it close, he failed to gain the support of key allies, and continues to delay action indefinitely until Congress acts.

Now that the Assad regime has seen our playbook and has been given enough time to prepare and safeguard potential targets, I do not feel that we have enough to gain as a nation by moving forward with this attack on our own.

Additionally I have heard from many constituents who strongly oppose unilateral action at a time when we have so many needs here at home. 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.”