Obama Administration pushing for support from Congress to use U.S. military force in Syria
POSTED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 8:20pm
The Obama Administration continues its outreach to members of Congress over its Syria policy today (Tuesday) with high ranking officials headed to Capitol Hill to ask directly for their support for a strike in Syria.
The President is dispatching Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to Congress. They'll make the case for a strike on Syria in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
According to a State Department official, Kerry will argue that anyone who is concerned about Iran and North Korea should support a strike, saying it will send a message to those regimes that America's statements of consequences are not without meaning. And the President will lobby House leaders in the Oval Office. He'll sit down one-on-one with Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Most lawmakers are publicly saying that they are still undecided at this point whether to support a strike. and aides on both sides say the vote likely next week could go either way. The White House was encouraged Monday by a meeting with two powerful republicans, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who they hope will help gather support on Capitol Hill.
This is likely the President's last chance for face to face meetings with lawmakers until this weekend. He departs for a nearly week-long trip to Sweden and Russia Tuesday night.