Boehner: House to consider Syrian action week of Sept. 9

The House will consider granting President Obama authorization to strike Syria the week of Sept. 9, House leaders said Saturday.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other members of his leadership team applauded Obama for seeking the authorization, but made no mention of bringing Congress back early to consider it.

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That would postpone any military strike against Syria — which had seemed imminent — until at least after Sept. 9, when Congress is set to return from a five-week vacation.

“Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress. We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised,” the statement from the GOP leaders said. “In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”

The statement was signed by Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). Boehner has not said whether he supports a strike, and a House Republican leadership aide said the onus for winning the vote would be on Obama.

"This vote is going to depend on the president making the case to Congress - and, more importantly, the American people," the aide said. "We are also going to need complete, serious answers to the questions the Speaker and other have asked."

Support also came from GOP senators.

“I am very pleased that the president has listened to the suggestion we and many others have made to bring this authorization to Congress,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). And on the left, liberals said Obama was putting down an important precedent by seeking authorization.

“After years of societal and international norms being thrown out the door -- and things like torture, violations of civil liberties, and war becoming normalized -- today's announcement is an important down payment on proper norms and regular order being restored,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.


Russell Berman contributed to this report.

This report was updated at 3:25 p.m.

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