Gregory Korte, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to authorize President Obama to use limited force against Syria Wednesday, after adopting amendments from Sen. John McCain designed to urge Obama to "change the military equation on the battlefield."
The Senate resolution would limit hostilities to 60 or 90 days, narrow military action to Syria's borders and prohibit U.S. troops on Syrian soil. McCain's proposal didn't change that scope but urged that the end goal should be "a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria."
The vote was 10-7. Five Republicans and two Democrats voted against it. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., voted "present."
The White House commended senators for "moving swiftly and for working across party lines on behalf of our national security."
The committee's consensus followed hours closed-door meetings Wednesday morning, which delayed the start of the committee's business by nearly three hours. As the Senate panel voted, their House counterparts heard from Secretary of State John Kerry, who appealed to their sense of humanity to stop Syria's use of chemical weapons.