President Obama begins his big push to convince lawmakers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

President Obama begins his big push to convince lawmakers to authorize a military strike in Syria

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Photo: NBC Photo: NBC
WASHINGTON (NBC) -

This week begins the big push by the Obama Administration - and the President himself - to convince lawmakers to authorize a military strike in Syria.

With protests around the country against military action in Syria, President Obama is pushing for it - at dinner with Republicans last night, in network interviews today, and a direct appeal to the nation Tuesday.

"He's got to show, first of all, that this is -- is in our core national security interests," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-MD.

Especially in the house where lawmakers seem reluctant to antagonize Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad.

"I think there is a chance he's more emboldened if we do attack him." Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY

The White House is using these videos - not confirmed by NBC - as proof the Assad regime used chemical weapons. "Nobody a single member of Congress has rebutted the intelligence," said White House Chief Of Staff Denis McDonough,

"But I would also say that the evidence is not as strong as the public statements that the president and his administration have been making," said Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI

Assad, in an interview with CBS, says there is no evidence.

The White House responded by saying: "it doesn't surprise us that someone who would kill... Hundreds of children with poison gas, would also lie about it."

Lawmakers are concerned "limited strikes" could turn into more. "Once we hit, this is an active war. Little wars start big wars. We have to remember that." Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX

The Senate could vote this week.

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