(CNN) – Many lawmakers offered praise and caution over President Barack Obama's decision to provide military support to Syrian rebels, an announcement made by the White House on Thursday.
White House officials acknowledged that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale a number of times.
Read the political reaction below.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona:
"I applaud the president's decision. I applaud the fact that he has now acknowledged what the French and others and all the rest of us knew, that Bashar al-Assad was using chemical weapons."
Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman:
Asked at a press conference about the president’s determination that a red line has been crossed because of Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Levin responded, “that means there must be consequences.”
Levin said he would like there to be “additional military pressure” put on the Syrian government but he wants to wait for the president to announce what steps he wants to take before commenting. At a press conference, Levin noted that he has in the past called for missile strikes against government aircraft in order to weaken the government’s air power.
Spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner:
"It is long past time to bring the Assad regime's bloodshed in Syria to an end. As President Obama examines his options, it is our hope he will properly consult with Congress before taking any action."
Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, House Intelligence Committee Chairman:
"I am pleased that President Obama's Administration has joined the growing international chorus declaring that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons in Syria, crossing the red line drawn by the President last August. Assad must not be allowed to continue to commit these atrocities. As I called for in a USA Today oped earlier this week, the United States should assist the Turks and our Arab League partners to create safe zones in Syria from which the U.S. and our allies can train, arm, and equip vetted opposition forces. These efforts have the potential of turning the tide once and for all against the Assad regime to deliver a peace negotiation. Then the United States would have the credibility it needs for a seat at the table during the transition to a post-Assad Syria."
Rep. Eliot Engel, top Democrat on House Foreign Affairs Committee:
"The President's 'red line' has clearly been crossed, and it is crystal clear that the United States must provide appropriate arms to those in Syria fighting for their lives and freedom. Further delay is not an option."