House Intelligence chief says Congress will 'rise to occasion,' back strike


House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) predicted Sunday that Congress will authorize a military strike against Syria in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

“I think at the end of the day Congress will rise to the occasion,” he said on the CNN program State of the Union. “This is a national security issue.”

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He called the evidence of chemical attacks powerful.

Rogers’s prediction differed from two other Republicans appearing on Sunday morning talk shows. Both Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) expressed doubt that Congress would approve military action.

King, who supports military action, said he believed if the vote were held today, it would fail. But Rogers said he believed support could be win from a Congress that has often opposed Obama.

“This isn’t about Barack Obama versus the Congress, this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats,” Rogers said.

“I think the Congress will rise to its Article 1 constitutional responsibilities to provide for the general defense of the United States, but it is going to take that healthy debate to get there,” Rogers said.

President Obama on Sunday said he would seek congressional authorization for a strike, even though the administration believes it has the authority to act without lawmakers’ consent.