By Mike Lillis - 03/06/12 06:27 PM EST
Hoyer joins House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in opposing strikes on Syria. Boehner told reporters Tuesday that "the situation in Syria is pretty complicated," warning that U.S. involvement would be "premature" before "there is clearer direction as to what’s happening there."
McCain churned headlines Monday when he called for the Pentagon to lead airstrikes on Assad's troops to create "safe havens" for civilians in the line of fire.
"Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives," McCain said on the Senate floor. "The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power."
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have since endorsed McCain's plan.
Supporters of a Syrian intervention are pointing to last year's rebel uprising in Libya, with Pentagon-led military strikes in a successful effort to unseat long-time Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
But Hoyer warned that the two situations aren't quite parallel.
"We all agree that the criminal behavior resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians in Syria is unacceptable," Hoyer said. "Unlike Libya, however, we don't have a clear alternative at this point in time. This is a somewhat unorganized — I won't say disorganized — but unorganized effort, therefore I think this is more complicated."
Hoyer said he hopes the League of Arab States "would take the lead on this."
Kofi Annan, former head of the United Nations and now joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria, is scheduled to meet with Syrian officials in Damascus on Saturday.