Listening session on potential Syria strike held in Grafton

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GRAFTON (WITI) -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the world set a red line against chemical weapons use that he now seeks to apply to Syria, while a Senate committee approved a resolution authorizing the U.S. military attack that he is planning.

By a 10-7 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the resolution that authorizes a limited military response, giving Obama an initial victory in his push to win congressional approval.

The measure now goes to the full Senate for debate next week.

At a listening session in Grafton Wednesday, September 4th, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Petri said he will head to Washington for hearings next week, but has many concerns.

"With the Syria situation, we don't know what we're going to be voting. If I had to say 'yes,' or 'no,' I think I would vote 'no,'" Rep. Petri said.

"There are no good options, as the President has said. I keep thinking about what the limits of this are, what is going to be accomplished, how things are going to be better after we engage in a military strike," Rep. Petri said.

Those same concerns are echoed by Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

"Can we, in fact, intervene in a way to dissuade the genocide we see occurring?" Moore said.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned officials at length about why a U.S. attack is advisable to back opposition forces -- asking questions about the size and strength of the opposition forces.

The measure now goes to the full Senate for debate next week. The Democratic-led chamber is expected to pass it, but the outcome is less clear in the Republican-led House where top diplomatic and military officials made their case on Wednesday for action.

In Sweden on the first of a three-day overseas trip that includes the G-20 summit in Russia, Obama told reporters that the red line he spoke of last year regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons came from international treaties and past congressional action, rather than something he "made up."

Obama also insisted he had the authority to order attacks -- expected to be cruise missile strikes on Syrian military command targets -- even if Congress rejects his request for authorization.