Organizing for Action, the chief outside lobbying vehicle for President Barack Obama's second-term agenda, is staying out of the debate over authorizing the use of military force against Syria, according to a top OFA official.
Executive Director Jon Carson noted the nonprofit's decision not to organize on Syria in a Tuesday conference call, according to a partial transcript obtained by NBC News.
"What I definitely want you all to know is that OFA supports President Obama and the agenda that Americans voted for on Nov. 6, but we don't always actively organize around every issue," Carson said. "And the debate in Congress over the Syria vote is not one that OFA is planning on organizing around."
The group's hands-off approach elicited mocking words from the press secretary for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who supports the Syria resolution. "With a big vote on President Obama's Syria policy looming, Organizing for America doing a protest in Speaker Boehner's Congressional district tomorrow on ... his opposition to ObamaCare," Michael Steel wrote in an email message to reporters on Thursday.
According to the OFA website, a protest is planned for Friday in front of Boehner's district office in West Chester, Ohio.
OFA was previously Obama for America, the president's 2012 campaign committee. Following his November reelection, the committee reconstituted itself as a social welfare nonprofit to generally promote the president's domestic policies. It has jumped into such debates as gun control, climate change regulations, immigration reform and Obamacare defense.
The group has stated that it will advocate on issues based on the desires of its membership. The partial transcript from Tuesday's conference, according to CNN, "did not include any of the feedback" from the OFA supporters on the call.
The president has urged Congress to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad's regime in the country's two-year-long civil war.
Below is the full partial transcript of OFA's Tuesday conference call released to reporters on Thursday. The speaker is Jon Carson:
Since the President's announcement on Saturday we've definitely heard from our volunteers on this issue and glad to hear more feedback right now.
The first thing I'd say is that it's been pretty universal from folks that they are very glad he is taking this issue to Congress. We've certainly heard from all sides of this including people who are just looking for more information on the subject. What I definitely want you all to know is that OFA supports President Obama and the agenda that Americans voted for on November 6 but we don't always actively organize around every issue and the debate in Congress over the Syria vote is not one that OFA is planning on organizing around. And in particular with so much work --
OFA isn't planning to actively organize on this with so much going on on other issues; we encourage people to get more information on this. But I really do want to ask you, David [Axelrod], you know the president so well, you have seen him work on these really tough issues, tell us your thoughts on the Syria situation.
This story has been updated with comment from Speaker Boehner's press secretary and with the partial transcript of the conference call.