President Obama will join Senate Republicans for lunch Tuesday to make his case for retaliatory strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to his government’s alleged chemical weapons attacks on civilians.
“After calling the White House today, we learned that the president would like to attend the Senate GOP lunch tomorrow to discuss the Syria resolution. He is welcome to join the lunch, and we are told that he will in fact attend,” said Don Stewart, McConnell’s spokesman.
The dual meetings are part of an all-out push by the president to build political support for U.S. military intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war.
Momentum behind a use-of-force resolution has stalled in the Senate in recent days as senators have received thousands of calls opposing military strikes.
One undecided senator said that constituent calls opposing military action have outnumbered calls in favor of missile attacks by a 9-to-1 margin.
Proponents of the use-of-force resolution expected at the start of last week that it would pass easily. The Senate outcome now appears less likely.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Senate GOP leadership, announced Monday he would vote against the resolution.