House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday announced he would support strikes against Syria in response to the Assad regime’s reported use of chemical weapons earlier this month, urging a substantial number of his skeptical Republican colleagues to follow suit.
“I appreciate the president reaching out to me and my colleagues in the Congress over the last couple of weeks. I also appreciate the president asking the Congress to support him in this action,” Boehner told reporters after a meeting with the president and other congressional leaders at the White House.
“This is something that the United States as a country needs to do,” he added. “I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action. We have enemies around the world that need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior. We also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know that America will be there and stand up whether it is necessary.”
Boehner’s no. 2, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), issued a statement immediatelly after the Speaker declaring he would also “vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria.”
President Barack Obama said earlier Tuesday he was confident Congress would approve a resolution authorizing military intervention in Syria. Several of his Democratic colleagues, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), however, believe the White House’s draft language is too broad as originally proposed. Staff for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) are reportedly working on a new resolution that includes more specific language.