A whopping 79% of Americans want President Obama to seek congressional approval before opting to strike Syria, according to an NBC News poll released Friday.
Half of all Americans said they opposed U.S. taking military action in Syria over the suspected use of chemical weapons by the President Bashar al-Assad, while 42% support it according to an NBC News poll released Friday.
A majority of Americans–79%–also want President Obama to seek congressional approval before opting to strike Syria the poll also found.
When asked if they would support a limited strike involving cruise missiles fired from naval ships–similar to what the Obama administration appears to be weighing–50% said they would support that action while 44% opposed it.
Congressional leaders have pressed the president to seek a vote from lawmakers before making a decision. Top Obama administration officials, including Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel, briefed a number of congressional leaders on its intel on Syria, yet several said they were not yet convinced that a U.S. strike was warranted.
“On the call, I agreed with Speaker Boehner and other members who stated that there needs to be more consultation with all Members of Congress,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “And that the case needs to be made to the American people.”
Fifty-eight percent of those polled agreed that the use of chemical weapons violates a “red line” that merits an American response, but the poll shows a war-weary country. Just a fifth of all Americans believe a military action would be in America’s best interest and a plurality, 41%, said it won’t help the situation in Syria either.
The NBC poll was conducted Aug. 28-29 among 700 adults. It has a margin of plus-minus 3.7 percentage points.