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September 9th, 2013
06:42 AM ET

Congress Heads Back to Washington

Members of the House and Senate will return to Capitol Hill Monday for the first time since a purported chemical weapons attack in Syria.

CNN's Katie Murray reports.

The debate on a resolution giving President Obama the go-ahead to take military action in Syria is expected to top the agenda.

Though it's far from certain how events will unfold.

What does seem clear is the uphill battle the President faces to convince a divided Congress.

Though for once, the divide is not down party lines.

Democratic Representative Jim McGovern told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday, Obama should withdraw his request for authorization.

The lawmaker said, "We're being told that there's two choices. Do nothing or bomb Syria. Clearly there have to be some other choices in between. We ought to explore them."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has already passed a rewritten authorization measure, and the Senate could vote on it as early as Thursday or Friday.

The timeline for activity in the house is more vague, but GOP leaders say they will wait for the Senate to approve the measures first.

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, supports Obama's call for military action in Syria, but says the administration has failed to make its case to Congress and the American people.

On CBS's "Face the Nation, " Rep. Rogers said Sunday:

"It is a confusing mess up to this point, and that has been, I think, their biggest challenge on what is an incredibly important issue, and this cannot be about Barack Obama.  It has to be what is in the best interest of the United States of America."

President Obama hasn't said whether he would proceed with a strike should Congress vote against his resolution though White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the President has the final say.

"The President ultimately is going to make this decision in consultation with Congress on our timeline, as best suits our interests."

President Obama  will speak to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" Monday at 6 p.m. ET.

The commander in chief is expected to address the nation on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET.

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