Washington (CNN) - A Republican congressman, whose offer to help the president on Syria was ignored last week, said he met with the White House chief of staff on Monday.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois met with Denis McDonough one day after he said in a TV interview that the White House did not reach out to him when he proposed helping them gather votes of support for the president’s Syria proposal.
CNN reported Sunday that the White House called Kinzinger, an Iraq war veteran, after his interview.
For the White House meeting, Kinzinger was with a small group of other House GOP members, including New York Rep. Peter King and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, who have voiced support for a resolution for targeted military strikes.
"We made the point very strong that you can’t build bridges with members of Congress the second you need them. It should have been done years ago. Democrats will repeat the same thing," Kinzinger told CNN on Monday.
Kinzinger said the group discussed the president’s scheduled speech to the American public on Tuesday. He suggested Obama needs to show he's decisive and the administration needs to stop sending mixed messages.
"Kerry saying 'unbelievably small' strike was devastating," Kinzinger said, referring to the way Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday described potential U.S. action in Syria.
The Illinois Republican said the latest proposal floated by Russia to urge Syria to turn over its chemical weapons was an important development, but shouldn’t delay a vote on Capitol Hill.
"It’s not a huge sigh of relief yet, but I'm willing to take a look at it. But I think the threat of force could have driven this to the table. I think we'd have an even more credible threat if we can pass this resolution out of the House," Kinzinger.
Kinzinger said the number of House Republicans now backing the president on Syria "could fit in a school bus, and probably have a lot of room, which is sad. The president's got a lot of work to do."