Kerry, Hagel to appear before Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday

September 2, 2013

Updated at 3 p.m.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate aides said Monday.

The appearance by Kerry and Hagel will be one of the most public parts of an intense lobbying effort underway by the Obama administration to garner congressional support for a resolution authorizing U.S. military intervention in Syria. The lobbying campaign includes in-person briefings for lawmakers, phone calls and meetings at the White House.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also plans to testify at Tuesday's Senate hearing.

On Monday, Kerry and Hagel were scheduled to join an 11:30 a.m. conference call with House Democrats to discuss the situation in Syria, according to senior Democratic aides. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also were expected to join the call, aides said.

Kerry and Hagel's appearance before the foreign relations panel Tuesday will be a return for both of them to a committee they once served on as senators. Kerry was chairman of the committee before leaving the Senate to run the State Department.

The Foreign Relations Committee plans to meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first of what is expected to be several Senate and House hearings on the situation in Syria and the request by President Obama to authorize military force in Syria.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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