Speaker John A. Boehner said on Tuesday he would “support the president’s call to action” in Syria after meeting with President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., giving the president a crucial ally in the quest for votes in the House.
Mr. Obama summoned Mr. Boehner and other Republican and Democratic leaders to the White House as he intensified his push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria. Conservative House Repubicans have expressed deep reluctance about the president’s strategy, and winning Mr. Boehner’s approval could help the president make inroads with a group thta has not supported him on most issues in the past.,
For Mr. Obama, who leaves on Tuesday evening for a three-day trip to Sweden and Russia, it is the next phase in a White House lobbying campaign that will have to extend beyond hawks like Mr. McCain to persuade lawmakers who are reluctant to get involved militarily in Syria.
The president’s case will face scrutiny in Congress on Tuesday afternoon when Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.