The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

September 3, 2013

Obama has bipartisan support for Syria strike

(Continued)

"This is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan," Obama said.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Tuesday that he was working with panel Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., to craft a resolution narrower than the broad measure the administration proposed on Saturday. He said their resolution, which could be ready as early as Tuesday evening, would limit the duration of the operation and prevent the deployment of U.S. ground troops.

Obama indicated he is open to changing the language to address lawmakers' concerns and called for a prompt vote.

"So long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to send a clear message to Assad, to degrade his capabilities to use chemical weapons, not just now but also in the future, as long as the authorization allows us to do that, I'm confident that we're going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark," Obama said.

Sen. Rand Paul said he would probably vote against any resolution. But he said it also wouldn't be helpful to amend the resolution in a way that constrains the president too much to execute military action, if authorized.

After Obama met with the congressional leadership, administration officials offered a classified briefing for all members of Congress. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., emerged saying he has concerns about a U.S. attack, including how Assad's purported use of chemical weapons represented a threat to the U.S. "There's an old saying, we don't have a dog in the fight. In this case, back home in west Virginia, they're saying we don't have any friends in the fight either," Manchin said.

Asked specifically about Boehner's endorsement, freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., said he still hadn't made up his mind.

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