Syria, Florida, & The Senate

Syria: House vote on Syrian aid splits parties. The House voted Wednesday 273 to 156 to allow the US to train and arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS and the vote reflected the conflicting views in both parties on intervening in Middle East wars. Republicans voted 159 to 71 in favor of the measure, supported by President Obama; Democrats voted 114 in favor, 85 against. The vote suggests a muddled role for foreign and defense policies in this fall’s congressional campaigns.


Florida: Insiders predict Scott victory. A poll of 130 of what the Tampa Bay Times calls “Florida’s savviest political hands” found that two-thirds believe Gov. Rick Scott (R) will defeat former Gov. Charlie Crist (D). In a similar poll seven weeks ago, a slim majority thought Scott would win. The latest insider poll contrasts with public opinion polls, which have shown the two candidates swapping the lead by low single digits. The insider survey included 77 GOPers, 53 Democrats and 10 independents. Btw, 59% believe the medical marijuana initiative will pass.


The Senate: McConnell, Cruz differ on lame-duck legislation. Hard-edged US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last week send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) contending that reconvening Congress following the election might result in “major new legislation [that] would subvert the will of the American people, lessen accountability, and do lasting damage to the dignity and integrity” of the Senate. But this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Politico newspaper, “I am personally not fearful that bad things will happen to the country during the lame duck, because I think the [Republican] House will prevent that.” Stay tuned.