Three top Obama officials begin another round Wednesday in their campaign to sway Congress to support the president's proposal for limited military strikes in Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey return to the Hill, this time to be grilled by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The three sat before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for three and a half hours Tuesday, taking questions on whether American troops would be committed to the effort and how successful the punitive strikes would be in deterring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again.
Some 43 lawmakers in the House and the Senate now say they can get behind Obama. But about three-fourths remain undecided or haven't announced how they plan to vote.
Here are the developments:
4:15 p.m. ET -- Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, says if the vote were held today, he would vote "yes."
4:12 p.m. ET -- Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, asked the panel to explain how Syria's use of chemical weapons is worse than its use of conventional weapons, which have killed more people there. It's a question CNN asked itself last week and found that many experts believe chemical weapons are different because of the torturous deaths and injuries they cause.
4 p.m. ET -- Several congressmen seem concerned with the veracity of the Obama administration's intelligence indicating that Syria has deployed chemical weapons. They're not alone. Journalists are gun shy, too, after the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction fiasco. The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone discussed the media's caution with CNN last month.
3:49 p.m. ET -- Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, asks what precedent does the U.S. establish if it doesn't act.
"We'd be walking away from responsibility," Kerry says. "It would have a profound impact on people's judgments of what we're willing to stand up for and what we're not willing to stand up for."
3:42 p.m. ET -- Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, brings up Benghazi. Kerry says it's "not a backburner issue."
"In an appropriate setting, I'd be delighted to share with you exactly what is going on," Kerry says, adding it's a priority for the administration.
3:34 p.m. ET -- Perry asks if the president will abide by Congress' decision, whether they vote for or against the authorization.
Kerry says he can't answer for the president, but Obama has made it clear that he maintains the right to act unilaterally.
3:32 p.m. ET -- Scott Perry, R- Pennsylvania, asks Kerry if he considers sarin gas a weapon of mass destruction. Kerry says "yes." Perry asks about VX gas. Kerry says "yes."
"Ok, so, those two were used in Iraq, found in Iraq before I got there and found in Iraq when I got there--for those who say the past administration lied about weapons of mass destruction," Perry says.
3:27 p.m. ET -- BREAKING: CNN's Ted Barrett reports the authorization passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The final vote was 10-7 with one senator voting present.
No votes were:
Tom Udall, D-New Mexico
Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut
James Risch, R-Idaho
Marco Rubio, R-Florida
Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin
John Barrasso, R-Wyoming
Rand Paul, R-Kentucky