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Visitors use umbrellas to shield themselves from the rain as they commute home, in Alexandria, VA., Monday, February, 3, 2014. (Andrew S Geraci/The Washington Times)

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Visitors to Alexandria's King Street Metro seek shelter under a bus stop as rain moves into the area, in Alexandria, VA., Monday, February, 3, 2014. (Andrew S Geraci/The Washington Times)

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"We will not cede this important opportunity for American workers and businesses to our competitors," said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

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"These are the rules established by the other side, and now when they're on the receiving side of those same rules, they want those rules changed. We don't intend to play by two sets of rules," says Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee (associated press)

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** FILE ** In this Saturday Feb. 1, 2014, citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center (AMC), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian citizens gather near flames caused by a Syrian government forces warplane attack, in al-Bab neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

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Syria has become a focal point for the State Department in the war on terrorism as al Qaeda-linked groups operating there — specifically the al-Nusrah Front — have expansionist aspirations. (Aleppo Media Center AMC via Associated Press)