Obama cancels California trip to make Syria case
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will not travel to California next week so that he can press his case to members of Congress for a military strike against Syria, the White House announced.
Obama was scheduled to address the AFL-CIO’s quadrennial convention in Los Angeles and attend a party fundraiser. The fundraiser has been postponed, a Democratic National Committee official said.
Obama left Washington on Tuesday night for a trip to Sweden and the G20 summit in Russia, and is not scheduled to return until Friday. He faces increasing pressure from allies and supporters of a punitive military strike to ramp up his public lobbying effort, perhaps in a national address.
Though many lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for public hearings and classified briefings on the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, Monday is the first scheduled full session in both the House and the Senate since early August.
The Senate will have a brief, pro forma session Friday for the purpose of filing the resolution to authorize force, as passed by the Foreign Relations Committee Thursday. The first procedural vote could come on Wednesday, Senate aides said.
The House of Representatives is not likely to take up the resolution until after it emerges from the Senate, if it does at all. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated Wednesday that consideration there may not come for another two weeks.
The White House says Obama continues to contact lawmakers from abroad. He “made five calls to a bipartisan group of senators” Wednesday, an official said.
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