WASHINGTON, D.C. (WP) — Upon hearing Obama ask for Congressional approval on Syria, House Speaker John Boehner immediately called Congress back into session, not waiting for the normal session to start on September 9.
“I’m sorry to cut vacation short after only a month. I mean sure, I’d like to have some barbecue and hang out with friends and family over the Labor Day weekend and then spend the week on the couch watching ESPN, but we have a solemn duty here,” Boehner said in an email to members of Congress on Saturday. “And it’s the first order of business. So get on a plane and get back to Washington. We take this up Sunday morning at 9AM sharp.”
Debate on the bill has been cordial, without rancor or wild conspiracy theories. There has been no name-calling or mugging for the camera. At the opening of the session, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor addressed the legislators, saying, “This isn’t partisan. It’s not even bi-partisan. It’s non-partisan, and there is no room for ideology here. We have an important decision to make.”
And outspoken firebrand and Tea Party leader Rep. Steve Stockman, who in the past has discussed impeachment, said that “In our debate today, we must show respect for the other side’s point of view. We must hear all arguments so that we can make the best decision, and not just jump to conclusions and assume we know what’s best.”
Meanwhile over in the Senate, everyone had their game face on. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to “suspend the usual automatic filibuster until the Syria vote is completed. I don’t care if it hurts me in the primary, this is what the People have sent us here to do.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid motioned that there “be a clean vote, with no amendments for pet projects in our districts, no horse trading,” which passed on a 99-0 voice vote.
Sen. Ted Cruz, an outspoken critic of the President on many issues, told reporters before entering the Senate chamber that “There wil be no ridiculous, unrelated demands. This is about one thing– Syria– so I will forgo bringing up Obamacare, the debt ceiling, food stamps, tax cuts, the Sequester™, and I expect my fellow Senators to follow suit.”
Sen. John McCain told a reporter that he didn’t know how the vote would turn out, “but I’m glad we could set aside our disagreements with President Obama and Democrats and prove that in a crisis, Congress still works. America still works. I’m proud of my party and my country today.”
Photo source: www.house.gov