Tuesday | April 21, 2015
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Obama facing mountain of House opposition to Syria attack; AP survey shows 6-1 resistance

WASHINGTON — Suggesting an uphill fight for President Barack Obama, House members staking out positions are either opposed to or leaning against his plan for a U.S. military strike against Syria by more than a 6-1 margin, a survey by The Associated Press shows. The Senate is more evenly divided ahead of its vote next week.

Still, the situation is very fluid. Nearly half of the 433-member House and a third of the 100-member Senate remain undecided.

By their statements or those of aides, only 30 members of the Republican-led House support intervention or are leaning in favor of authorizing the president to use force against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government in response to a chemical weapons attack last month. Some 192 House members outright oppose U.S. involvement or are leaning against authorization, according to the AP survey.

The situation in the Democrat-controlled Senate is better for Obama but hardly conclusive ahead of a potential vote next week. The AP survey showed those who support or are leaning in favor of military action holding a slight 34-32 advantage over those opposed or leaning against it.

Complicating the effort in the Senate is the possibility that a three-fifths majority may be required. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said he is going to filibuster.