Wed Sep 11, 2013 AT 6:44 AM EDT
President Obama told the nation Tuesday he is exploring a Russian diplomatic plan to end a chemical weapons dispute in Syria, but reserves the right to take military action if necessary, USA Today reports. In a nationally-televised address from the White House, the Washington Postreports Obama cautiously welcomed a Russian proposal that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad give up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons, signaling that he would drop his call for a military assault on the regime if Assad complies. But with little guarantee that diplomacy would prevail, Obama argued that the nation must be prepared to strike Assad. Roll Call reports, meanwhile, as developments in Syria moved faster than the Senate’s slow-moving schedule, senators from both parties called for a pause in the chamber’s action on authorizing the use of force against Assad’s regime.