Senator Ron Johnson said today he voted against the resolution authorizing President Obama to take military action in Syria in committee today due to the lack of information provided to the Senate by the Obama administration.
“I certainly did not get a good feel from this administration that they had this thing fully thought out, that they were thinking beyond the initial action,” Johnson, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, says in an interview. He also remained concerned that “a limited and ineffective strike would be worse than no action at all” in Syria.
He was also troubled by the lack of answers he got during yesterday’s committee hearing saying it was “pretty shocking” that when he asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “when I just asked them just basic numbers on troops level, they didn’t have the numbers.”
Johnson has not ruled out voting for the resolution when it comes before the full Senate, if more of his questions are answered by then. However, he is affected by the calls to his office. “You listen to the consitutents calling, it’s universal: They want no part in Syria,” he says.
He called on Obama to make a better case to Americans for taking action in Syria. “It’s incumbent on him to get the American public behind him before he takes military action,” Johnson remarks, “unless he feels it’s such a threat he decides to take the action on his own.”
While Johnson believes that Obama, as commander-in-chief, could opt to act without Congress’ permission, he added that he did not believe Obama would do so.