Policy & Strategy

White House invites key committee chairmen to meeting with Obama

The White House has invited the chairmen and ranking members of six national security committees to meet with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss military action in Syria.

Top members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee have all been invited to meeting, according to a senior White House official.

{mosads}The official said the meeting is part of a “flood the zone” strategy to build congressional support for military action.

President Obama said Saturday that while he had decided intervention in Syria is necessary, he is seeking congressional approval before moving forward.

On Sunday, administration officials briefed 70 lawmakers on the evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, and the potential steps forward.

Following the briefing, however, many lawmakers remained skeptical of the need for military force and the evidence of the use of chemical weapons that was provided.

A number of Republican lawmakers speaking earlier Sunday were doubtful that a resolution authorizing the use of military force would pass Congress.

To shift congressional opinion in favor of action, the White House is planning a full-court press of sorts, with the president, Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough making individual calls to House and Senate members on Sunday and Monday to make the case for action.

The administration is planning a conference call for House Democrats with administration officials on Tuesday as well.

Tags Denis McDonough

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