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Pelosi Signals Thumbs Up to Senate's Syria Language (Updated)

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to approve of the language of the Senate resolution to authorize the use of military force in Syria.

The California Democrat issued a “Dear Colleague” letter Thursday citing the Senate measure and informing her colleagues that the House would meet Friday in a pro forma session so the resolution can be filed in the Senate “in a timely manner.”

“The Senate resolution addresses some of the concerns expressed by many of our House members,” Pelosi’s letter said. “Specifically, the resolution prevents boots on the ground, ties the authorization more closely to the use of chemical and other weapons of mass destruction, and has a limited timetable.”

Pelosi’s office took issue with an earlier characterization that she had specifically approved of the Senate measure.

Even so, by nodding to the resolution approved Wednesday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pelosi may be signaling that she’d like the House to simply vote on the Senate language, rather than drafting its own joint resolution.

With House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., expressing misgivings about striking Syria, using the Senate language could expedite the process in the House and avoid the uncomfortable search for a member to draft a different bill.

Still, Pelosi stopped short of a full endorsement of the Senate measure. She finished her letter by urging members to continue to provide their “ideas, suggestions, and concerns.”

“Thank you again for the thoughtful and deliberative tone during this serious debate,” she wrote.

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