Obama Makes the Case for Syria At Home and Abroad
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee could make a decision about President Obama's resolution for pursuing military action in Syria as soon as Wednesday.
With Obama in Sweden (and then moving awkwardly on to Russia) for the start of the G-20 summit, his top aides are left to hash out details of a potential strike with Republicans and other critics.
On Tuesday, top House leadership including Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that they would join Democrats like Nancy Pelosi in supporting the president's resolution. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will spend Wednesday trying to persuade the majority Republican House of Representatives to push through a resolution for action.
The Senate resolution, drawn up by leadership late Tuesday, would limit the duration of U.S. involvement in Syria to 60 days, with the possibility of extending it for one more month, making the maximum duration of the potential action 90 days.
But the resolution faced a setback when major Republic party member and former campaign rival, Senator John McCain voiced disapproval of the resolution. Responding to a question about whether or not he would back the Senate plan he said, "In its current form, I do not." McCain has been outspoken in his desire to see intervention in Syria but maintains that he wants no "boots on the ground" and more than a cruise missile strike. According to reports by MSNBC McCain said that the Senate resolution did not discuss arming Syrian rebels or "changing the momentum on the ground in Syria."
During his speech in Sweden, Obama talked about the need to respond to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons saying, "We give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important...The moral thing to do is not to stand by and do nothing."
Obama added that he "didn't set a red line" on Syria, and that it was the "world set a red line" instead.