WASHINGTON • A divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved an authorization of force against the Syrian regime, setting up a showdown next week in the full Senate on whether President Barack Obama should have the authority to strike.
The 10-7 vote showed bipartisan support for a strike, but bipartisan opposition as well. Yes votes included Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. No votes included Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. The Senate's newest member, Edward Markey, D-Mass., voted present.
The resolution would limit strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to 60 days, with the possibility of 30 more days upon consultation with Congress, and it would specifically block the use of ground troops. But to keep McCain's crucial support, the committee toughened some of the language.