Congress is holding its first public hearing in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee as of 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoon to discuss on President Obama's request for military action in Syria. A second, closed hearing will follow for members of Congress to discuss classified elements of intelligence related to the Syria conflict.
"This debate is about the world's red line. It's about humanity's red line," Secretary of State John Kerry said in introduction. "If we don't answer Assad today we will erode a standard that has existed for many years, and has even protected our own troops for many years." He warned of "international lawlessness" that could result from inaction.
Committee members have commenced their response with some skepticism about U.S. goals and strategies in Syria, noting that much information about the ultimate goals of a strike plan remain unclear. "I will support a targeted strike, but not a blank check," said Senator Barbara Boxer (D. Calif.).
Live stream of the hearing is available here.