The Labor Day holiday is a full work day at the White House as the
administration presses its case with Congress for approval of a
resolution authorizing military strikes on Syria.
has invited Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to
the White House Monday to discuss his Saturday request for Congress to
vote on military strikes.
McCain and Graham are critical to
getting the resolution passed through the Senate, and they have jointly
expressed concerns that a military strike should be part of a broader
strategy in Syria, not simply a random strike to punish the regime.
addition, his national security team will conduct an unclassified call
for House Democrats, according to a senior administration official, who
could not be identified because officials were not authorized to
discuss White House deliberations. National Security Adviser Susan
Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel,
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, are slated to conduct the
briefing. The White House is anticipating a majority of House Democrats
will be on the call.
Obama said Saturday that he believes the
United States should strike Syria in response to evidence showing that
the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against opposition factions in
the country, killing more than 1,400 people.
Kerry said Sunday the administration has more proof Syrian troops used the nerve agent sarin in the Aug. 21 attack.
officials briefed members of Congress in the Capitol Sunday, but
lawmakers in both parties have expressed some skepticism about the
resolution proposed by the White House. Top Democrats said they believe
the resolution will have to be narrowed to ensure that no American
soldiers are sent into Syria.
On Tuesday, at the White House,
Obama will meet with chairs and ranking members from key national
security committees. This includes: Senate Armed Services Committee,
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence, House Armed Services Committee.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee will also be holding a hearing on the
issue Tuesday where Hagel and Kerry are expected to testify.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Monday released this statement:
earn my vote of support for limited military intervention, President
Obama must present a clear plan focused on effective humanitarian
intervention or our national security interests.
thousands have been killed by the Assad regime in this brutal conflict -
relatively few by chemical weapons. A military response that places an
arbitrary focus on such weapons will do little to protect civilians and
sends a deeply misguided signal that totalitarian regimes should only
use conventional weapons to carry out mass murder."
House argues that action is about more than just retribution for the
Assad regime's use of chemical weapons, it is also necessary to impress
upon Iran and other Syrian allies that use of such weapons will not go