Lobbying effort continues, but two Republican senators say they’re opposed

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s another day of closed-door meetings in Washington, as the Obama administration tries to build support in Congress for a military strike on Syria.

The Senate Foreign Relations committee voted 10-to-7 yesterday in favor of a resolution authorizing military action. It would be limited in duration to 90 days, and American ground troops couldn’t be sent into combat.

A top Obama administration official says he thinks the American people will be more supportive of a U.S. military strike on Syria, once they see Syria as a separate and distinct situation — rather than linking it to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told MSNBC, “This is not Afghanistan. This is not Iraq. This is not even Libya.” He said it’s not “open-ended,” and won’t involve “boots on the ground.”

The argument failed to sway two Republican senators, who announced today that they will oppose any military action. David Vitter of Louisiana and Mike Lee of Utah are members of the Armed Services Committee who took part yesterday in briefings with top defense officials.

In a statement, Lee said the risks of Obama’s plan outweigh the gains. And Vitter said he’s concerned that after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, getting involved in Syria will make it impossible to muster the “resolve to stop a nuclear Iran.”

%@AP Links

169-w-36-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP national security correspondent, with Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. and and Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine)–Lawmakers are hearing more from the administration today before deciding whether to authorize military action against Syria. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (5 Sep 2013)

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168-a-06-(Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., member, Senate Intelligence Committee, with reporters before classified briefing)-”today and tomorrow”-Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski says needs more information before deciding how to vote. (5 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *168 (09/05/13)££ 00:06 “today and tomorrow”

167-a-08-(Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, member, Senate Intelligence Committee, with reporters before classified briefing)-”the president’s action”-Maine Senator Susan Collins says she is ‘firmly undecided’ about how to vote on authorizing military action. (5 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *167 (09/05/13)££ 00:08 “the president’s action”

APPHOTO DCSA120: Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. arrives for a closed-door briefing with national security officials on the situation in Syria, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama has requested congressional authorization of military intervention in Syria in response to last month’s alleged sarin gas attack in the Syrian civil war. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (5 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO DCSA120 (09/05/13)££

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