US lawmakers to debate Syria strike from Sept 9

In this image released by The White House, US President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, on Aug 31, 2013, as Vice President Joe Biden listens. The U
In this image released by The White House, US President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, on Aug 31, 2013, as Vice President Joe Biden listens. The US House of Representatives expects to begin consideration of a possible military strike against Syria the week of Sept 9, the Republican leadership of the chamber said Saturday. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US House of Representatives expects to begin consideration of a possible military strike against Syria the week of Sept 9, the Republican leadership of the chamber said Saturday.

"We are glad the president is seeking authorisation for any military action in Syria," House Speaker John Boehner and other senior Republicans said in a statement shortly after President Barack Obama announced he would be seeking approval from lawmakers.

"In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th," said the statement. "This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people." Shortly beforehand, in an address at the White House, Mr Obama lifted the threat of immediate strikes on President Bashar al-Assad's regime, saying he wanted Congress to weigh in.

"While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorisation, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," he said.

"We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual." Both the House and the Senate are currently in recess. Members are due back in Washington on Sept 9.