Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House intelligence committee, predicted on Sunday that Congress eventually will back a military strike on Syria.
The Michigan Republican, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," said the mounting evidence that sarin gas was used in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Damascus means the U.S. will have to act.
"I think that Congress will rise to its Article 1 constitutional responsibilities to provide for the general defense of the United States," he said, "but it's going to take that healthy debate to get there."
The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, whose comments came one day after President Obama announced he would not take action on Syria until Congress has an opportunity to weigh in, said there are "real-world consequences" if the U.S. fails to act.
"You think about a country like North Korea ... same in Iran. We better send a very clear message in a unified way that we're not going to tolerate proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — let alone their use."
"And if you don't send that message, that has real-world consequences," he said. "This isn't a reality TV show. At the end of the day, something will actually happen. People will lose their lives. Nations will make a decision moving forward on chemical and biological weapons based on what we do here. So we cannot make this about the president versus Congress ... we can have all of those debates at another time. This is really about the credibility of the United States of America, standing up for an anti-proliferation and use of chemical and biological weapons. It's that serious."
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