By Carlo Muñoz - 08/26/13 07:44 PM EDT
The alleged chemical weapon attacks against anti-government rebels near the Syrian capital of Damascus is simply "unacceptable," according to McKeon.
Administration officials said over the weekend they have “little doubt” that Assad's forces used poison gas. According to opposition groups, the death toll from the attack stands at more than 1,000.
Use of those weapons crosses "red line" set by the Obama administration, which would trigger a U.S. military response.
U.S. warships, armed with long-range cruise missiles, are already on station off the coast of Syria ready to conduct surgical strikes against government positions in the country.
That said, Sen. Bob CaseyBob CaseyObama-backed Dem makes gains in Pa. primary Senate introduces tariff relief bill Lawmakers react to Villanova's buzzer-beater NCAA win MORE (D-Pa.) warned against the difficulties Washington and its allies face if U.S. military action begins in Syria.
However, allowing Assad's forces to amass and use chemical weapons in the country could further destabilize the region.
"Addressing the crisis in Syria at this stage will be extremely difficult, but every day that Assad remains in power helps Iran and Hezbollah and threatens stability across the region," Casey said in a statement Monday.
President Obama reportedly discussed Washington's military options in Syria with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande after an emergency meeting of Obama's national security team on Saturday at the White House.
On Monday, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryUS climate chief's goal: ‘Set in motion’ climate work over next five years Trump's VP: Top 10 contenders Peace equality and stability for religious minorities MORE vowed there would be “consequences” for what he deemed an “undeniable” chemical weapon attack by Assad's forces.
“Make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people," Kerry said.
However, McKeon and other congressional Republicans are demanding the White House seek lawmakers' approval before launching any military strike against Syria.
“I don’t think there’s any question in our administration’s mind that chemical warfare has been used," Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerHousing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Iran and heavy water: Five things to know Trump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags MORE, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel, said Monday.
"I hope they come to Congress for an authorization at some point," he said during an interview on MSNBC.
McKeon echoed Corker's statement calling upon Obama to seek congressional authorization for military operations.
"The President established a red line policy," McKeon said. "I expect the Commander in Chief would consult with Congress in the days ahead as he considers the options available to him."