a say about whether this will happen.
"Some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment," the president said. "Today I'm asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are united as one nation."
Obama’s remarks came as senior administration officials were making a fresh round of calls to congressional leaders on Saturday in an effort to bolster support for a potential military strike on Syria, officials said.The president made clear, as Secretary of State John Kerry has twice done in the past week, that the administration believes action must be taken against Syria. But what seemed to be the run-up to an imminent attack is now put off for more than a week. Congress is not slated to return to Washington until Sept. 9.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were among the administration officials expected to speak to key members of Congress on Saturday afternoon, amid signs that the White House is close to ordering an attack on Syria to admonish it for its alleged use of chemical weapons last week.
“We’re continuing to weigh our options,” a senior U.S. official said. “We’re confident in our analysis that the United States and our allies can handle any contingencies that come as a result of military action should it be chosen by the president.”
Obama also carefully made a point of saying that he believes he has the authority to take action without a vote of Congress.
Meanwhile, the team of U.N. inspectors who were sent to Syria to investigate the impact of what almost everyone agrees was a massive and lethal chemical attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21 has returned to The Netherlands. The team's job was not to determine who launched the attack.
"It needs time to be able to analyze the information and the samples," U.N. spokesman Martin] Nesirky said. He noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said there is no alternative to a political solution to the crisis in Syria. "A military solution is not an option," he said.