Nearly 80 Percent of Americans Want Congress to Approve of Syrian Intervention

American public anxious about letting Obama bomb Syria without congressional oversight.


"We should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said of the decision to intervene in Syria.

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As more than 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill implore the Obama administration to ask for their approval before taking military action in Syria, the American public steps in to back them up.

[READ: Congress Wants to Give Input on Syria ]

An NBC News poll out Friday shows 79 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama needs permission from Congress before he strikes Syria.

Half of the American public, 50 percent is completely opposed to U.S. intervention in Syria – even after the Obama administration announced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on civilians.

Only 44 percent of Americans were opposed to military action, however, if Obama limited intervention in Syria to striking the country with cruise missiles.

The poll comes as the Obama administration finds itself weighing its options in the region. The administration had always been clear that chemical weapons were a game changer in Syria, but now, with the British announcing Thursday they'd be staying on the sidelines, the U.S. is unsure if it should be wading into yet another Middle East conflict.

Members of Congress want to be kept in the loop.

[PHOTOS: Alleged Gas Attack Kills Dozens in Damascus ]

Republicans and Democrats, alike, are weighing in on how best to proceed.

"We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in a statement.

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released a statement Thursday voicing her support for intervention after a 90 minute call with the administration. Although, she did warn that Congress needed to be part of the discussion.

"It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security," Pelosi said.

Others, have requested Obama call Congress back into session to have a formal vote. In a letter authored by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., 92 lawmakers said they "stand ready" to return to Washington.

For some lawmakers, Syria is simply out of the question.

[ALSO: Democrats Divided on How to Proceed in Syria]

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a GOP defense hawk, argues the U.S. doesn't have enough money in its Defense Department budget to fight in Syria.

"We must not forget this President has put us on the brink of a hollowed force. Our troops are stretched thin, the defense budget has been slashed to historic levels, and we are facing an unprecedented time of unrest across the Middle East," Inhofe said in a statement. "No red line should have been drawn without the strategy and funding to support it."

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