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Reid invokes 9/11 to justify Syria strike

Marking the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said America should continue to fight terrorism, this time in Syria.

“Even as we pay tribute to America’s tradition of freedom for every citizen, across the globe an evil dictator denies his citizens not only their right to liberty but also their right to live,” Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “That’s what the debate on Syria is all about — terrorism.”

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Reid said senators would be closely watching talks involving the U.S., Russia and Syria that are designed to reach a diplomatic deal in which Syria would give up its chemical weapons to international control. 

President Obama had been pushing Congress to authorize a military strike on Syria but asked them to put off the votes when Syria jumped at a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons. 

In his comments, Reid sought to send the signal that Congress could still move forward with authorization for a strike. 

“Congress should not take the threat of military action off the table,” Reid said. “Congress will be watching these negotiations closely.”

Obama's chances of winning votes on the authority in the House and Senate, however, appeared dim at best.