Syria attack: Kerry pitches strike to House

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - After defending the need for the use of force in Syria before the Senate Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“If we don’t take a stand here today I guarantee you we are likely to face far greater risks to our security and a far greater likelihood of a conflict that demands our action in the future,” Kerry said.

One local member of Congress directly involved in Wednesday’s House hearing is Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia, who co-drafted a resolution with Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen to limit the scope of U.S. military action in Syria, believing the president’s plan is too broad.

“There’s no time limit and they have a phrase in there that the president can take such military action as he deems appropriate. Now that’s not that the president said he wanted, it’s not going to fly in Congress, it’s not what the public will support,” Connelly said.

The questions arising in Wednesday’s hearing were similar to those addressed Tuesday – is force even necessary? And what happens if there is a retaliatory attack?

Fresh from a classified hearing on Syria earlier Wednesday, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland says he’s even more convinced now that the U.S. needs to take action to keep the situation in Syria from escalating or spreading beyond its border.

“Syria has a large amount of chemical weapons and I’m very concerned that if the international community doesn’t stand up that you’re going to see a greater use of chemical weapons,” Cardin said.