He made his prediction that the White House would get its way in an exchange with Kerry in which he said Obama should agree to abide by Congress’ decision, rather than reserve the right to order a strike even if the vote goes against him.
Democrats, too, were divided, although it appeared the administration’s biggest concern was winning support among deeply conservative Republicans who have battled with the president on issue after issue since winning control of the House three years ago.
The United States maintains a significant military force in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The U.S. Navy released one of the warships that had been in the region, leaving four destroyers armed with cruise missiles, the USS Stout, USS Gravely, USS Ramage and USS Barry. Also in the area was an amphibious warship, the USS San Antonio, with about 300 Marines aboard.
In addition, there are two aircraft carriers in the region — the USS Nimitz strike group, which is in the southern Red Sea, and the USS Harry S Truman, which is in the Arabian Sea.
Associated Press writers Julie Pace, Josh Lederman, Donna Cassata, Alan Fram, Jennifer C. Kerr and Lolita Baldor contributed to this story.