Congressional Syria Scorecard: Inside the Numbers

A closer look at where lawmakers stand on intervention in Syria.

ByABC News
September 10, 2013, 2:18 PM

Sept. 10, 2013— -- ABC News is watching closely as members decide whether to give President Obama authority to strike Syria after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allegedly broke international law by used chemical weapons against his citizens in an attack last month.

So far the president and his staff have spoken to 93 senators and more than 350 House members -- 70 of them were at the White House for briefings on Monday.

But the vote has divided the usual factions in Congress, and many remain undecided. Here is a breakdown of where groups in Congress like the Tea Party, the Congressional Black Caucus, and progressive Democrats stand on Obama's request.

Information in this post is based on the data available at time of publishing, which is subject to change.

Strange bedfellows
President Obama has friends in some unconventional places on the issue of military intervention in Syria. And he's also accumulated some opponents from among those who are normally among his strongest supporters.

On foreign policy in the Obama era, the usual alliances have broken down. Some staunch Republicans who oppose Obama on nearly everything else, side with him in supporting his push for military action. Notably, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a freshman and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, who in his short Congressional tenure has been outspoken about foreign policy issues is on "Team Obama" when it comes to striking Sryia. And Cotton isn't alone among the Republican "hawks" who are breaking with traditional GOP dogma on Obama's agenda. He is joined by Republican leaders House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

On the other side, progressive Democrats have balked at the prospect of potentially engaging in another war while the economy continues to crawl its way to recovery back home. Reps. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have sided with many Republicans in opposing Obama's request. It echoes the growing opposition in progressive quarters to any kind of military engagement abroad.

Democrats still on the sidelines
It's no secret. Democrats aren't exactly thrilled with one of their own leading the charge to get into another military conflict. And their hesitance shows in the sheer number of Democratic lawmakers in the House and the Senate who are still holding out and aren't backing Obama's request for the authority to strike Syria.

According to the ABC News count, Democratic support in the House for Obama's request hasn't budged from 33 since last week. At the same time, opposition among Democrats is rising. The same story is happening in the Senate where most Democratic senators remain undecided.

Obama has the support of Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., but she'll have a hard time wrangling resistant members.

Congressional Black Caucus on the fence
President Obama may have won 90 percent of the black vote, but he can't count on black members of Congress to authorize him to strike Syria -- yet. Only four of the 41 voting members of the CBC have said they will support or are likely to support Obama's plan. A majority is undecided and nine are opposed or leaning towards opposition.

After a meeting at the White House Monday, members of the CBC still haven't flocked to back the president. And today on CNN, CBC Chairman Marsha Fudge, D-Ohio, who is undecided, said her decision is still "outstanding."

"I do believe that if there is some way that we can find a diplomatic way to address the atrocities in Syria, I think that we should move forward with all due speed to make sure that it is something that is credible. And I think that we should engage with this kind of a discussion," Fudge said.

No Tea Party
Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly against military action in Syria. True to their political opposition to Obama, reluctance to spend taxpayer dollars, and the anti-interventionism espoused by their movement's libertarian wing, 39 tea partiers either oppose or are likely to oppose the use of force. None are in favor, and nine are undecided or unknown.

Veterans squeamish on military intervention
Congress may have fewer veterans than it's had in the past, but the ones who remain are overwhelmingly opposed to the use of force in Syria.

Veterans in the House who oppose or are likely to oppose a Syria strike outnumber those who support it in the House 57-6.

In the Senate, the veteran vote is just about split. Only four veterans serving in the Senate support military action, six oppose and eight are undecided.