Alex Witt   |  August 31, 2013

Welker: Syria ‘will be quite a difficult thing to vote on'

NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker reports on President Obama’s decision to consult Congress before taking military action in Syria and outlines the difficulties the president might face in convincing the legislators that strikes are necessary.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> good afternoon to you, i will pick up the coverage here. we are expecting the plead to give us the latest on the white house 's decisions regarding syria, and then the president surprising a lot of folks saying he is going to call on congress to take a vote before military strikes. kristin welker standing by for us at the white house . are you with me?

>> i am with you and can hear you.

>> where do we go from here and what is next?

>> you absolutely hit the nail on the head, craig . this will surprise a lot of people, a lot of folks were expecting president obama to come out and announce that they had decided to move forward unilaterally move forward without congressional approval, and that's not what he said. he said he has decided that military action is the right next step but that he is going to put the matter to a vote in congress , and of course we know in the past several days, more and more members of congress have been saying that they want a vote, and they think they deserve a vote before president obama actually launches any type of military strike , so it appears as though those voices have won in this case, so this will be put to a congressional vote. a couple things that stood out to me, craig . president obama saying that the chairman of the joint chiefs told him he is ready to move forward with military action , and that it's not necessarily time sensitive, that if this occurs in a month they would still be able to weaken assad's military capabilities . so that is one of the things that stood out. another thing, you didn't hear president obama say he was going to call congress back right now, and he said we will begin to debate this when congress comes back from recess, and that happens on september 9th , and we will have to circle back to the white house and make sure that's not their intention to come back, and some members of congress said they would agree to come back early and start the debate, and we have been talking to a number of members of congress and some of them feel strongly that military action is the right decision, but not everybody on the same page. so this is going to be a robust debate as everything is with this congress . this is a divided congress . they have struggled to pass simple things like the farm bill , so i anticipate that this will be quite a difficult thing for them to vote on, and in terms of timing, this certainly draws out any potential military action , and then that certainly races questions about momentum, but that is the headline that president obama is going to consult congress before he takes any action towards syria. craig ?

>> kristin welker from the white