Obama gets Republican support
Sep 3, 2013 / 1:03 pm
President Barack Obama's call for a military strike in Syria won significant momentum Tuesday, with leaders of both parties in Congress saying they are convinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people and that the United States should respond.
The top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, said taking action is something "the United States as a country needs to do."
Boehner emerged from a White House meeting with Obama and other top lawmakers and said only the U.S. has the capability to stop Assad and warn others around the world that such actions will not be tolerated.
Obama urged Congress to hold a prompt vote once it returns from holiday next week.
The president also tried to assure the public that involvement in Syria will be a "limited, proportional step."
"This is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan," Obama said.
He met with top lawmakers hours before he leaves on a three-day trip to Europe, with a visit to Sweden and a G-20 summit in Russia
The U.S. says it has proof that the Assad regime is behind sarin gas attacks that Washington claims killed at least 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collects information from a network of anti-regime activists, says it has so far only been able to confirm 502 dead.
The Obama administration argues that the United States must exert global leadership in retaliating for what apparently was the deadliest use of chemical weapons anywhere over the past 25 years.
Boehner's support is key, but opposition Republicans in Congress do not speak with one voice.
And after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, polls show most Americans opposed to any new military action overseas.
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