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Speaking to reporters Friday after a summit of world leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia, Obama acknowledged the difficulties he faces in seeking support for action. He said he would address the nation on Tuesday.
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Pro Israel groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, all have released public statements and made private calls urging lawmakers to vote for military action in Syria.
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With Republicans, the administration has a more difficult challenge.
interventions, these kinds of actions are always unpopular because they seem distant and removed," Obama said. "I'm not drawing an analogy to World War II, other than to say, you know, when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country, to help the British."
Complicating the effort in the Senate is the possibility that a three fifths majority may be required. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he is going to filibuster.
Boehner and Cantor have provided little indication they're willing to lobby for Obama's cause, even if they support it. It's also unclear how much they can deliver given that tea party and other conservative Republicans have repeatedly gone against Boehner.
The situation in the Democrat controlled Senate is better for Obama but hardly conclusive ahead of a potential vote next week. The AP survey showed those who support or are leaning in favor of military action holding a slight 34 32 advantage over those opposed or leaning against it.
Opposition runs deep among Republicans and Democrats. So far, GOP lawmakers stand 148 9 against military action, when accounting for leaners. Democrats are opposed by a tally of 44 21.
"It's conceivable at the end of the day I don't persuade a majority of the American people that it's the right thing to do," Obama said. But the president, who again would not say what he would do if Congress rebuffed him, expressed confidence that the people and their lawmakers would listen to his case. debt ceiling, funding the government, overhauling immigration law and implementing Obama's signature health care changes. says has repeatedly launched chemical weapons attacks. is too divided internally to back up its declarations with actions over everything from preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons to containing the threat posed by North Korea's erratic, nuclear armed dictatorship.
After a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, polls have shown Americans consistently oppose intervention in Syria, a fact Obama acknowledged after meeting fellow leaders of the leading rich and developing nations Friday. He compared the current situation to previous crises when America had to engage for the good of the world.
For Obama to succeed, he'll have to win about 90 percent of the undecided House members or change the minds of those who are leaning against him.
Speaker John Boehner, R Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R Va., and House Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny Hoyer of Maryland are on board. But many rank and file members of both parties either oppose attacking Syria or are sitting on the sidelines until they learn more about the administration's plans and see which way the political momentum turns.
"My initial reaction, as a Marine combat veteran, was to stand by the commander in chief and support immediate, targeted strikes," Grimm said. strike won't outweigh "the extreme cost of war."
How difficult is Obama's challenge in Congress? Only 21 House members publicly back a resolution to attack Syria, and nine say they are considering giving their support. Some 100 House members oppose Obama's plan, and 92 say they are leaning against it.
time for the administration to convince House members who are undecided or who've publicly expressed skepticism about military engagement. Roshe Run Men Custom
House opposed or leaning against U S striking Syria
Reluctant lawmakers are often swayed during closed door meetings with colleagues and party leaders. Just a third of the House and Senate have participated in any of the classified briefings with administration officials over the past week, underscoring that their votes may still be winnable.
Obama has support among House leaders of both parties.
military strike against Syria by more than a 6 1 margin, a survey by The Associated Press shows. The Senate is more evenly divided ahead of its vote next week.
Still, Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, predicted, "I think we're going to get 60 votes,"
All House members are invited to a classified briefing on Monday night, after Congress officially returns from summer break. House Democrats will meet Tuesday morning with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and House Republicans will meet separately at the same time.
Still, the situation is very fluid. Almost half of the 433 member House and a third of the 100 member Senate remain undecided.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the way the world reacts to chemical weapons use in Syria has implications for how it will handle Iran's nuclear program, putting one of Congress' favorite foreign leaders firmly in the "yes" camp.
"The intervention in Kosovo, very unpopular, but ultimately I think it was the right thing to do and the international community should be glad that it came together to do it," he added. "When people say that it is a terrible stain on all Roshe Run For Girls Kids of us that hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered in Rwanda, well, imagine if Rwanda was going on right now and we asked should we intervene in Rwanda. I think it's fair to say that it probably wouldn't poll real well."
Obama is not alone in his effort to drum up support.
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