House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is rumored to be retiring after the 2014 mid-term elections. That may explain the suddenly shocking rumors coming from Washington that he may skip a House vote on Syria, according to National Review Online. Congressional aides indicate that whip counts show the vote being too close for comfort, and that the vote may not happen if it is deemed to close to call. Boehner came out this week in support of President Obama's plan for Syria, despite heavy opposition from the American electorate. I'm writing this article to ask you to contact your representatives and tell them you want a vote, and I will tell you how to make it happen.
The support of congressional leaders for a strike that the public is screaming in unison to stop has placed members of the House in a particularly difficult quandary. On one hand, they are hearing loudly from constituents across America that if they vote to strike, they risk a real possibility of losing in the upcoming mid-terms. On the other, they have the speaker, minority and majority whips telling them that need to vote in favor of the president's plan to show a unified government.
Make no mistake, this is a watershed moment in American politics, and John Boehner knows it. It is my contention that the rumors of skipping the vote are born from this legitimate conundrum. If Boehner orders the House not to vote, and if he is indeed stepping down as speaker in 2014, it is likely that the two are not merely coincidental. If Boehner were planning to stick around, he'd almost certainly do this differently. So what he does, is guarantee that House Republicans can go on record as being a no vote for political gain, while knowing they won't actually have to vote. It's a win-win.
Look no further than the "bloody" 8th Congressional District in Indiana and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) for proof of the ploy. Today, Bucshon held a fundraiser for his 2014 re-election bid. Who attended as guest speaker? None other than John Boehner, despite the fact that Bucshon stood beside Boehner today and told Hoosiers that he will vote no for the very plan that Boehner just said he supports.
Reading between the lines has never been so easy, politically speaking. When have you ever heard of a politician standing next to his party leader and state unequivocally that he will vote against the leader's wishes? It just doesn't happen. This is happening across America, although most of the time it is not so out in the open as Bucshon. So, what do you do about it?
Regardless of whether or not you support the president's plan, you have a vested interest in seeing if you are truly represented in your district. Go to this link. Type in your zip code and retrieve your Representative's information. Call or email your representative and tell them that you want a vote on the president's plan. Let them know that if a vote is not held, you will vote to replace them in 2014 or 2016, whichever comes first for them.
This is a historical time, not because of what may or may not happen if we strike Syria, but because politically, we actually have our House of Representatives between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Please, do your duty as an American and let them know that they need to vote. The American public demands these men and women stand and be counted.