President Barack Obama has said he needs Congress to back a resolution to strike Syria, but a key GOP vote appears to be peeling away just hours before the committee vote is scheduled.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been leaning hard on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria, told NBC News Wednesday he would not support the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee's resolution to take military action against the country.
The announcement prompted the leading GOP member on the committee Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., to announce the committee's resolution vote may be pushed back as he entered a classified hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
McCain was among the outspoken supporters of plans to strike Syria during the committee's hearing Tuesday, calling inaction a "catastrophic" decision. But McCain argued Wednesday that the Senate-drafted resolution was much too narrow and did not include enough support for rebel forces in Syria.
The resolution, which was drafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and ranking member Corker would limit the president's actions in Syria to 90 days. The outline would bar Obama from using military forces on the ground for combat use, but contains a loophole to allow them to enter Syria in emergencies, to keep chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands, for example.
"Our negotiations have led to a much narrower authorization that provides for the appropriate use of force while limiting the scope and duration of military action," Corker said in a statement.
"This is one of the most serious matters that comes before the Congress, so as we proceed to a potentially defining vote next week, the president and his administration must continue to vigorously make their case to the American people."
McCain's announcement brings the tally to six for the number of senators on the committee who are either leaning "no" or who have outright announced their opposition. These senators cut across party lines, including Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Paul engaged in a heated back-and-forth with Kerry Tuesday, dismissing the entire congressional debate on Syria a political "theater."
The number of supporters for intervention in Syria, according to the Washington Post's vote counter, is higher at 8, but votes are still in flux. There are 18 members total on the committee, 10 Democrats and 8 Republicans.