WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said today that he's confident Congress will authorize a military strike in Syria, and he won the support of House Speaker John Boehner, who said acting against Syria was something "the United States as a country needs to do."
Boehner, Congress' top Republican, emerged from a White House meeting with Obama and told reporters the U.S. must respond to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons. Boehner said only the United States has the capability and the capacity to stop Assad and warn others around the world that such actions will not be tolerated.
Obama's meeting with congressional leaders was part of his push to win over support for his request for authorization for limited military strikes against Assad. He indicated he is open to changing the language to address lawmakers' concerns, but urged them to hold a prompt vote.
With war-weary Americans skeptical of sparking another long-winded intervention, Obama tried to assure the public involvement in Syria will be a "limited, proportional step."
"This is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan," Obama said.
Boehner's support is key; however, Republicans in Congress do not speak with one voice. Some tea party-backed Republicans are among those who have expressed skepticism.