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Congress to get say on Syria strike
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Obama said on Saturday he had decided the United States should strike Syrian government targets in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack, but said he would seek a congressional vote for any military action. (REUTERS/Mike Theiler)
"We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual," he said.
"Today I'm asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move as one nation," Obama said.
"I am glad the President has decided to seek congressional support for military action in Syria," U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said in a statement. "Our nation is stronger when the President has bipartisan congressional support for actions he takes as commander in chief. In the coming days, it's important that the President continue to make his case to the American people as to how it is in our national security interests to take military action in Syria."
"The President is right to come to Congress and seek a vote over military action in Syria," she said. "He owes it to the American people, and members of Congress owe it to their constituents, to debate this issue. Congress should return to Washington immediately to consider this matter."
"I will consider the evidence and consequences of American intervention carefully in the coming days," said Kuster, who last week had urged caution before considering military intervention in Syria.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said the decision will not be easy.
Authorizing the use of military force, however, is not a decision I take lightly. In the coming days, I will consider the upcoming vote carefully before doing what I believe is best for our national security interests," she said in a statement.
His decision was also a significant shift away from what was perceived to be preparations for a speedy strike against Syrian targets. He had made clear he was prepared to act unilaterally after the British parliament refused to go along with American plans.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken last week showed only 20 percent believe the United States should take action against Syria, but that was up from 9 percent the previous week.
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