Pelosi: 'I Will Not Vote for Combat Troops'

By Susan Jones | September 17, 2014 | 11:38am EDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (AP File Photo))

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says for her, American troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria is a "blanket no."

And when the House votes Wednesday on President Obama’s request for $500 million to train and equip the “moderate” Syrian rebels, that’s all they’ll be voting on.

Wednesday's vote "is not to be confused with any authorization to go further," Pelosi told a news conference on Wednesday morning.

She said Obama will need "an act of Congress" if he plans to go beyond training the rebels.

"But I don't think he needs a bill right now to do what he is doing in the bigger sense. I think he has all of that authority. But there is a threshold, that if it is crossed, Congress will have to act."

In response to questions, Pelosi repeated, "I will not vote for combat troops." Even if military leaders adjust their strategy, "all I can say to you is... we are not there to support combat troops in any of these engagements."

"What matters to us...House Democrats...the sentiment of our caucus has been that we are not supporting combat troops in how we solve this problem. We believe that the president has taken us on the proper course, which is humanitarian, which is diplomatic, which is political."

Pelosi said she approves of training the so-called moderate rebels who will then engage the terrorists on the ground. And if military leaders adjust their plans?

"One of the explanations I heard is they may need to send somebody on the ground to advise on the air strikes. And if that's what they're talking about, I don't know that anybody has a big problem with that," she added.

But as for American boots on the ground, "I don't think the American people are up for it; I don't know that it would even achieve success to send troops in; but whatever it is, I'm against it."

The reason for U.S. intervention “is to stop ISIS for its brutality," she said.

“The worse it gets there, the less reason I think we should send in troops."

MRC Store