Markey Straddles the Fence in Senate Committee Vote on Syria

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to give President Obama the authority to use military force against Syria.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire voted for the request. Shaheen says failing to act would pose a real threat to U.S. national security interests.

“I believe this limited military action that we have authorized in this resolution will deter the Assad regime’s use of those chemical weapons in the future,” Shaheen says.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut was among the seven committee members to vote against the resolution. Murphy says he knows the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria was “atrocious” and “crossed an international red line.” But he says he worries about part of the resolution pushing for the U.S. to help rebels.

“I know none of us want to be involved in a long-term conflict in Syria. I worry that the resolution and authorization today will make it difficult for us to avoid that reality,” Murphy says.

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts noted that same concern during the committee hearing. Markey voted “present” on the president’s request. He says he will examine intelligence information and consult with experts before deciding how to vote when the proposal reaches the full senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.