WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Saturday he will ask Congress to approve military strikes against Syria’s government, a risky step likely to delay action for at least 10 days that could signal broad popular support but also could end in rejection by the legislative branch.
Obama’s surprise decision to go to Congress, and his somewhat defiant way of explaining it, were likely to ratchet up the tension in Washington and the nation, where Americans are skeptical about the mission. As he delivered his 10-minute statement in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday, chants of protesters outside the gates could be heard. And even as Obama made the move toward engaging the people and their representatives in Congress, the White House said the president would not rule out acting on his own if Congress fails to give its consent.
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