(NBC News) The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday voted to give President Barack Obama the power to a launch a military attack to punish Syria for using chemical weapons.
The vote was 10-7. It marked the first time in more than a decade -- since a 2002 resolution that preceded the Iraq war -- that members of Congress have voted to authorize military action.
The resolution, which could be voted on by the full Senate as early as next week, forbids Obama from using ground troops in Syria and allows the military response to last no longer than three months.
In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top administration officials went before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to confront skeptics and press the administration's case. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel estimated the cost of a limited strike at tens of millions of dollars.
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