A Senate panel has voted to approve a resolution giving President Obama the authority to carry out punitive strikes against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the authorization by a 10-7 vote, with one senator voting present. The measure must be passed by a vote of the full Senate to come into force. The vote is likely to take place next week.
The vote marks the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 vote giving President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Sheila Bridges stood out for many reasons in her chosen field of interior design. Her celebrity client list, being African-American, but then she began to stand out in a way she did not want - she started losing her hair. We'll talk about how that changed her life and her focus. She talks about that in her new memoir "The Bald Mermaid." And we'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend a good amount of time today hearing various points of view about how the U.S. and the international community should respond to events in Syria. Later, when we head into the Beauty Shop, we'll ask our panel of women journalists and commentators for their thoughts. And we also want to ask them about a list published by a business magazine of the smartest women on Twitter that was notably lacking in diversity. That's in just a few minutes.
During the more than three hour hearing on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain started playing poker on his phone. A photographer for The Washington Post snapped the photo. McCain confessed on Twitter, and said, "Worst of all I lost."
Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona approach the question of military strikes on Syria from opposite wings of the Republican Party. Paul from the isolationist wing and McCain from the traditional, more hawkish wing. Their disagreement played out in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and serves as a preview for the far more consequential version of this debate among House Republicans.
With Republican House leaders lining up behind President Obama's planned U.S. military strike on Syria, the chances for congressional authorization seemed higher on Tuesday than they did over the weekend.
In Colorado, two state senators face recall elections next week. The recalls are the first ever for state lawmakers there. Just one issue is motivating the historic efforts: gun control. Robert Siegel talks to Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee about the recall campaigns.
Obama administration officials are making their case for action in Syria, with several Cabinet officials appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of State John Kerry argues that the U.S. needs to hold Bashar Assad's government accountable for the use of chemical weapons.
Sixteen party leaders and key committee figures from both the House and Senate met with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday. House Speaker John Boehner was among those who emerged to say they backed the idea of military intervention in Syria.