A day after United Nations experts left Syria looking into allegations that the Syrian Government detonated a chemical weapon, Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. government has evidence that the use of sarin gas killed over a thousand Syrians, including children. Jon Weinstein has more.
SYRIA -- Secretary of State John Kerry says there is clear evidence that Syria's embattled leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons including highly toxic sarin gas against his own people.
"Blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from East Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on "State of the Union."
This debate will now play out in Congress. President Obama has said he will seek lawmakers' approval before acting. That approval is no sure thing, with some members of Congress deeply skeptical of any action.
"I think the line in the sand should be that America gets involved, when American interests are threatened. I don't see American interests involved on either side of this Syrian war," said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on "Meet the Press."
Kerry says the administration will talk strategy with members of Congress over the next week, but a vote will likely have to wait. The House and Senate are not scheduled to be back in session until September 9th.
"This is a clear failure of leadership and if you feel so strongly about it and if he doesn't want to take the action himself, then he should call us back into session tomorrow. We can't be waiting nine, 10 days and allowing Syria to prepare for this," said Long Island Representative Peter King on "Fox News Sunday."
Still, others say the President is acting responsibly.
"He rightfully recognized that in the long run, he and the country and the world would be stronger if Congress was supportive of his activities because this is not just a short term effort, this is a longer term effort," said Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed on "Fox News Sunday."
Still, other members of Congress say the U.S. needs to go further than just limited air strikes.
"The best way to eliminate the threat of Bashar Assad's continued use of chemical weapons and by the way we know he's used them a number of times before, would be the threat of his removal from power," said Arizona Senator John McCain on "Face the Nation."
Kerry says the President didn't need to go to Congress for approval to take military action and retains the right to strike even with a no vote. But now that he has made that request, what happens next is up in the air.