The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted this afternoon to authorize the administration to use military force against Syria. The vote was 10-7, with Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Murphy of Connecticut voting ‘no,’ and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) voting ‘present.’ A total of five Republicans voted ‘no,’ too, but not John McCain.

This is not an easy vote, by any means, and I respect people who come down on either side. If the president can use the leverage of authorization to bring the U.N. Security Council along for a disarmament mission, it will be a brilliant move. But if it leads to an actual limited punitive military strike, it will be a stepping stone to a quagmire for this country. Without private assurances that I could trust, I would have sided with Sens. Udall, Murphy, and Markey today.

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