White House Pushes for Congressional Approval for Syria Strike

Obama administration making an all-out effort to convince congress of need for military intervention
2:25 | 09/02/13

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Transcript for White House Pushes for Congressional Approval for Syria Strike
we are going to turn to the high stakes showdown between president obama and congress now over the exploding crisis in syria. We'll have complete coverage. It starts with abc's jonathan karl at the white house this morning. Good morning to you, jon. Reporter: Good morning. This morning, the president and the white house are promising to flood the zone making an all-out effort to explain to members of congress what is at stake in syria and to urge them to authorize the president to use military force. More than 70 lawmakers, most of them fresh off vacation, filed into a secure capitol hill auditorium to hear directly from the president's national security team. Presenting the evidence against syria. I think that it's a good thing for the congress to be briefed. Reporter: But it's clear the white house ave to work hard to convince congress to go along with a military strike. There is skepticism from republicans -- far from settled. Reporter: And democrats. I would not vote for it today. There are a lot more questions that I have to have answered. Reporter: One big problem for the white house, the ghost of the iraq war. The very shoddy evidence of so-called weapons of mass destruction in iraq overshadows this situation. Reporter: Secretary of state john kerry made the case on five sunday talk shows predicting that congress will give the president the green light, but leaving it unclear what he will do if they don't. But what if the votes aren't there? Will the president act anyway? The president of the united states has the right to take this action, doesn't have to go to congress. But if I hear you correctly you're saying the president will act no matter what. No, I said the president has the right to act. The president's effort to win support resumes today. He'll be meeting here at the white house with senator john McCAIN. He is hoping that his old 2008 rival will help him build support for in this congress. Of course, jon, we did hear some wariness from both sides of the aisle. If then president obama's going to congress to seek authorization, if there is a political means there, what happens if he does not get that authorization? We heard john kerry say he has the right to act, but what's the belief? Will hey. Josh, that is the big question. I have asked several top administration officials about that. No direct answer. All they come back to is to say, he has the authority to. He has the ability to, but they won't say whether or not he would act without congress. A momentous day on capitol hill. Jon karl in washington, thanks

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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