POLITICS: PennAve

White House briefs Congress in preparation for military action in Syria

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White House,Congress,News Alert,John Boehner,David M. Drucker,Syria,PennAve,John Cornyn,Chemical Weapons

The Obama administration on Sunday is expected to deliver a classified briefing on Syria to House members of both parties in a session that was arranged at the request of Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

This briefings are a response by the administration to provide the consultation that lawmakers insisted must take place before President Obama approves any military action in Syria. The classified briefings follow a pair of unclassified conference-call briefings Saturday for the Senate, one for Republicans and one for Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., requested a briefing by the Obama administration Friday because of interest from his caucus, a spokesman said. Some lawmakers have gone beyond demanding consultation and insist that Obama must secure congressional authorization before he acts.

"Before any military action is taken in Syria, [President Obama] should call Congress back into session and ask for a vote on the authorization to use force," Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement Saturday.

One Senate aide said the Saturday unclassified information won't likely provide much information beyond what is already known about the Syrian regime's Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that brought the U.S. to the brink of military action. But Sunday's classified briefing for the House on Capitol Hill could expand on that information.

A memo from Boehner's office to House members said Sunday's classified briefing for lawmakers "will be one of many classified briefings" on Syria.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., will supervise the presentation of classified information, according to the memo.

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