Schumer comes off the fence to back Obama

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, announced Friday he will support a resolution authorizing military strikes against Syria.
 

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Schumer had been on the fence for days while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took the lead in cajoling colleagues to support the resolution requested last weekend by President Obama.
 
Schumer said he would support the resolution the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed by a 10-7 vote Wednesday because it strictly limits a potential military engagement.
 
“It prohibits any boots on the ground and puts strict time limits on American involvement in Syria while still allowing an appropriate response to the use of weapons of mass destruction, and I will support it,” he said in a statement Friday afternoon.
 
Schumer announced his support two days after his colleague in the leadership, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), voted for the measure during the Foreign Relations markup.
 
“I hope that the message comes through from this committee meeting, and from the floor in the Senate and the House, that this Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are resolute when it comes to discouraging the spread of chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction,” Durbin said in a statement Wednesday.
 
“If the United States did not take this leadership role, I do not know who would,” he said.
 
Fifteen Senate Democrats and eight Senate Republicans are leaning in favor of the resolution, according to The Hill's Whip List.
 
Twelve Republicans and four Democrats in the upper chamber oppose the resolution or lean against it.